Tara dedicates Eastern Star to imprisoned journalists

Published: 9 September 2018

Tara Theatre in London has dedicated a three-week run of Eastern Star to the two Reuters journalists, U Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, given seven-year prison sentences in Yangon for "violating a state secrets act".

Jatinder Verma, artistic Director of Tara Arts said, "when we planned this run, we had no idea that Eastern Star would becomes so painfully current. The sentences handed down to these two men are truly shocking even by the standards of justice we have come to expect in Myanmar today. We urge for them to be released immediately."

A petition book calling on the authorities in Myanmar to release the journalists will be available for theatregoers to sign. At the end of the three-week run, Verma will present the petition to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Verma added, "I call on all people of conscience to raise their voices in support of U Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. They are guilty of nothing but the crime of writing. Their sentences should not be allowed to stand."

As we reported last month, Eastern Star is based on the true story of the relationship between a BBC World Service journalist, Christopher Gunness, and a Burmese human rights lawyer, U Nay Min.

Eastern Star was written and directed by Guy Slater and stars David Yip, Michael Lumsden, Julie Cheung-inhin and Patrick Pearson. It runs at Tara Theatre for three weeks from 11 September 2018.

Sheila Connor