Following strict conditions imposed by the rights holder, the Munich Metropoltheater is finally taking the controversial play “Birds” off the schedule. The agency, which represents the world rights to the work of the Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad, has strictly prohibited cuts or changes of any kind in this particular case due to the exceptional situation in Munich, the Metropoltheater announced today.
“However, playing the piece in its entirety would be tantamount to the expense of a new production for us, which is why we are in no way able to meet this requirement from the rights holders.”
Debate with allegations of anti-Semitism
After a heated debate with allegations of anti-Semitism, “Vögel” was supposed to be resumed on March 26th. An accompanying program and a total of twelve performances were planned until the end of April. Some text passages on the Holocaust were also changed for this purpose. However, according to the agency’s letter to the authors’ publisher, if the play is performed in Munich, Mouawad’s text must be presented verbatim in its entirety so that it “is not further damaged by unjustified allegations of anti-Semitism and a heated debate in Munich”. .
Theater director regrets dismissal
“For four months we have always tried everything to be able to show our production again,” commented the director of the Metropoltheater, Jochen Schölch. “We have found it imperative to play our show again, so we deeply regret this development but are compelled under these circumstances to pull the production off the schedule.”
The private theater, which is supported by the city of Munich, canceled the play in November after the Jewish Student Union Germany and the Association of Jewish Students in Bavaria criticized that “Birds” made relativizing the Holocaust and anti-Semitism related to Israel socially acceptable.