Canadian plays to go on without French rocker

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Three plays by Sophocles will go on in Canada but without the casting of a French rock star convicted of killing his girlfriend, director Wajdi Mouawad said Monday following a public outcry.

But Mouawad said he will incorporate in the scripts the behind-the-scenes fracas that led to rocker Bertrand Cantat's dismissal.

"We will present the shows as scheduled in Montreal and Ottawa" Mouawad told a press conference.

"But they will make it be known in a non-aggressive and non-reactive way, but certainly in a clear way our feelings about the controversy," he said, adding that he was angered by what he described as political interference in the arts in this case.

Theatre du Nouveau Monde had invited Cantat to appear in three plays in its 2011-2012 season.

But Montreal's largest theatre company was forced to reconsider its plans after a public outcry that included a government minister vowing in the middle of an election campaign to refuse him entry into Canada if her party is reelected.

TNM artistic director Lorraine Pintal told a press conference on April 7 it would either cancel the shows or present them without Cantat, but left the final decision up to Mouawad.

Cantat, the former lead singer of the rock band Noir Desir, was sentenced to eight years in jail after he beat his girlfriend Marie Trintignant to death in a Lithuanian hotel room in 2003.

He was paroled in 2007.

Theatre du Nouveau Monde had earlier defended its casting choice, saying Cantat paid for his crime.

© 2011 AFP

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