Avant-garde theatre is under attack in Italy for pushing the boat out
too far after police raided a Milan playhouse to save a lobster from
being bludgeoned to death and eaten on stage.
Following complaints from animal rights groups, the first-night
performance of Incident: Kill to Eat by Argentinian playwright Rodrigo
García was broken up by three plainclothes officers who spared the
lobster from an all-too-real death scene.
A full house was expecting to see García's examination of death and
meat eating, during which an unlucky crustacean is suspended from a
nylon cord and a microphone picks up the sounds of its squirming. In
his programme notes, García, a former butcher, denounced the
dishonesty of not killing what you eat. "You need plenty of
imagination, and I don't have it, to feel the fear of death as you
open a can of meatballs with peas in the kitchen at home," he wrote.
That did not wash with Milan's assessor for animal rights, Gianluca
Comazzi, who backed the police raid.
"There is a law here which forbids exposing audiences to animals
experiencing drawn out and useless stress," he said. "I know this goes
on in restaurants, but there it is not turned into a spectacle."