BLUE PENCIL by Elizabeth Kuti
Directed by Robert Price
Performed and developed with student actors from Lamda (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art)
Old playground wisdom has it that sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us.
But is this true? Just how dangerous can words be? Blue Pencil explores issues of free speech and freedom of expression in contemporary life – from Charlie Hebdo to the ‘safe space’ of the politically correct campus.
This play explores questions of free speech, versus ‘hate’ speech; the freedom to offend, versus the rights and wrongs of politically correct speech; and it examines the extent to which we are now ‘censored’ by a whole set of orthodoxies which perhaps prevent the true exchange of ideas. Have we been smothered by political correctness? Or are the proponents of free speech hiding a right-wing agenda beneath a libertarian argument?
From the editor’s illicit lunchtime tryst, to a career-wrecking after-dinner speech; from a taboo-breaking art exhibition, to the politics of today’s campus – Blue Pencil ranges through a spectrum of 21st century characters and stories, and asks just how free are we to speak our minds?
And which do we value more – freedom, or safety?