Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phone Hacking and the Freedom of the Press


This fortnight, English PEN asks tough questions about the future of press freedom in the UK and remembers writers who have stood up for free speech around the world.
 
FREE SPEECH CAFE: WHAT PRICE PRESS FREEDOM?
 
6.30pm, Thursday 10 November, Free Word Centre
Read more and book tickets here: http://bit.ly/ivkCHd
 
There have been shocking revelations this week about the use of video surveillance by the News of the World against lawyers of the phone hacking victims. As the hacking scandal grows, and James Murdoch prepares to face MPs once more, we ask: ‘What price press freedom?’ Stephen Abell, Director of the Press Complaints Commission, and Brian Cathcart, founder of the Hacked Off campaign, lead an English PEN debate chaired by journalist and activist Rowenna Davis.
 
English PEN is developing its response to the escalating crisis. We want to know what you think. Is it time to replace self regulation of the press with state regulation? Or is the free press too important to sacrifice because of one scandal? Is the Press Complaints Commission at fault for failing to stamp out phone hacking; or is this a case of one rogue newspaper?
 
Read more and book tickets here: http://bit.ly/ivkCHd
 
 
NIGHT OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER
 
7:30pm (door, 7pm), Tuesday 15 November, The Tabernacle, London W11 2AY
To read more and book tickets, click here.

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English PEN and ice&fire Theatre present:
NIGHT OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER
A unique performance evening to mark the 30th annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer.
HELLO MR MILLER, HELLO MR PINTER

Don’t miss your chance to see this special one-off performance in which the powerful words of persecuted writers from Mexico to Bahrain, from Kenya to Azerbaijan, have been woven together by award-winning playwright Sonja Linden and English PEN’s Cat Lucas.

‘Hello…’ features letters and other writings by eleven writers that PEN has supported in the last 30 years, including Turkish playwright Ali Taygun who was in regular correspondence with the late Harold Pinter and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the only Nobel laureate currently in detention. Also featured are Azerbaijani editor Eynulla Fatullayev, Vietnamese essayist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and Burmese comedian and poet Zarganar, all of whom have been released in the last six months thanks to our combined efforts.

Directed by Christine Bacon and performed by Actors for Human Rights, ‘Hello…’ is both a moving celebration of PEN’s work on behalf of imprisoned and persecuted writers around the world and a concrete testament to the bravery of those writers who, often at great risk to themselves and their families, continue to speak out.

STAND UP FOR WRITERS IN PRISON

And because no-one speaks out quite like a comic, we’re delighted to be bringing you some of today’s finest acts to illustrate what freedom of speech is all about…

NICK DOODY

The fantastic Nick Doody will be bringing his own very special brand of political comedy and satire to ‘Night of the Imprisoned Writer’. The creator and head writer of BBC Radio 4′s ‘Bigipedia’, Nick has also written for ’8 out of 10 cats’ and ‘Armando Ianucci’s Charm Offensive’ and supported the legendary Bill Hicks on his final tour of the UK. We’re delighted to have him on board!

For more on Nick, click here.

"All hail Nick Doody…true comedy gold: polished, rich in material and a find among all the fools" Metro

"Some of the best political material I have heard in a while…comic genius" – The Scotsman

"very impressive … unfailingly good punchlines … intelligent and funny … comes with the chortle seal of approval" – CHORTLE

MARCEL LUCONT

The hilarious Marcel Lucont is a self-proclaimed ‘flâneur, raconteur, bon-viveur’ and easily the greatest UK-based French comedian around. Marcel’s ‘Chat Show’ was voted one of the top 25 Best-Rated Comedy Shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and he won the Spank! Award for Best Headliner in 2010. We look forward to seeing him in action!

For more on Marcel, click here.

"Fresh, accessible and hilarious" – The Guardian

"Wonderful French wit … superb stuff … His elegant, sardonic turns of phrase are an utter joy" – Time Out

"Deadpan delivery and surreal musings… A stand-up star in the making" – Thelondonpaper

Show starts: 7.30pm (Doors: 7pm)

Tickets are £10 – and all proceeds go directly to English PEN’s Writers in Prison Programme to cover the costs of our campaigning activities. (www.englishpen.org/writersinprison)

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English PEN has been marking the Day of the Imprisoned Writer since 1981. This year we present a groundbreaking, moving – and surprisingly funny – event at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. In collaboration with ice&fire theatre we have devised Hello Mr Miller, Hello Mr Pinter, featuring the powerful words of persecuted writers for whom PEN has campaigned over the decades.
 
And because no-one speaks quite as freely as a stand-up comic, we’re proud to bring you some of today’s finest acts to illustrate what freedom of speech is all about. The fantastic Nick Doody will be performing his own very special brand of political comedy. The creator and head writer of BBC Radio 4′s Bigipedia, Nick has also written for 8 out of 10 cats and Armando Ianucci’s Charm Offensive and supported the legendary Bill Hicks on his final tour of the UK. Nick will be joined by the hilarious Marcel Lucont, a self-proclaimed ‘flâneur, raconteur, bon-viveur’ and easily the greatest UK-based French comedian around. Marcel’s Chat Show was voted one of the top-25 Best-Rated Comedy Shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and he won the Spank! Award for Best Headliner in 2010.
"All hail Nick Doody…true comedy gold: polished, rich in material and a find among all the fools" Metro
 
"Wonderful French wit … superb stuff … His elegant, sardonic turns of phrase are an utter joy" – Time Out
 
To read more and book tickets, click here.

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