Berlin-based Schaubühne has been touring several Chinese cities with its internationally acclaimed production of Ibsen’s „An Enemy of the People”, directed by Thomas Ostermeier. After the first stop in China’s capital Beijing, theatre administrators objected to a scene with audience participation in a discussion about the environmental and political scandal in Ibsen’s play. The current tour’s last two performances in Nanjing have been cancelled now.
The sensitive issue of censorship is remarkable in this case as Schaubühne is the leading German theatre company frequently visiting China since 2014 as part of a general development towards more international theatre shown in China. The company and their shows, e.g. “Hamlet” also directed by Ostermeier, have been celebrated by Chinese audiences on several occasions and Schaubühne’s artistic directorship is well acquainted with the pre-check procedures of each performance to be shown there. Official statements are yet to be expected.