‘To shine a light on freedom of expression & writers at risk’

We are proud to have a Partnership between PEN International and The Pillowman

PEN International, which has been promoting literature and defending freedom of expression worldwide since 1921, and

with the freedom of writers and debates around censorship making front-page news, we are working with PEN International on a series of events and initiatives to shine a light on the themes that McDonagh’s acclaimed play examines.

Burhan Sonmez, acclaimed writer and President of PEN International said:  ‘This captivating play examines the role of the writer in society and reflects on the price paid for exercising the right we all have, to freedom of expression. At PEN, we are proud to be working with this production of The Pillowman, and participate in this ambitious project that supports many of the values we promote such as the need for tolerance, critical thinking and informed debate.’

Yann Martel, internationally renowned author of Life of Pi and a member of PEN International’s Writers Circle said:  ‘Theatre has the power to change things for the better, and with this exciting partnership between PEN International and the new production of The Pillowman, the light will shine more brightly on the freedoms essential to writers and artists around the world.’

Acclaimed author and also a member of PEN International’s Writer’s Circle, Ben Okri, added: ‘How governments handle dissenting voices is often a measurement of how they handle human freedoms at large. This partnership honours all writers and artists silenced for simply expressing their views peacefully, and sends a powerful message in their support, everywhere – at a time when freedom of expression is increasingly under threat.’

Throughout the production, the collaboration, sees a series of activities featuring the participation of award-winning writers:PEN International President Burhan Sonmez, as well as PEN’s friends and supporters Mona Arshi, Yann Martel and Ben Okri, among others. These include three post-show Q&As and essays about the role of the writer in contemporary times, resonating and compounding the themes of the play – as well as PEN’s guiding principles and work- on freedom of expression and imagination, and on how writers have often been looked upon to critically engage in what makes us human.

For more information

Visit PEN International