Edmonton Fringe Festival pulls play written by man convicted of child porn

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival has pulled a show from its lineup following concerns about playwright David Belke, a registered sex offender.

Belke wrote the production "Who Goes There," a play about a soldier recovering in a hospital.

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He was sentenced to six months in jail in 2017 after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

The festival said it cancelled the production after people in the community complained.

People who purchased tickets are being offered refunds.

Adam Mitchell, the festival's executive director, said it could not allow the show to go on during the annual Fringe, which runs from Aug. 15 to 25.

"We will immediately engage in a structured conversation with the community about this issue to discuss how we move forward," he said in a release Friday.

The production at the Fringe was curated by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, which said it expected some pressure, but wanted to see Belke get a second chance.

"We don't believe in punishing people for the rest of their lives," said Father Chris Pappis. "The idea of redemption as a Christian is something that's very strong."

Pappis said the play will be performed, but not as part of the festival. (CTV Edmonton)

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