A member of the Belarus Free Theatre who was due to perform at the Adelaide Festival in Australia this month has been dropped from the production after being charged with an “indecent act” on a plane.
Aleh Sidorchyk, 61, from Belarus was a key member of the company’s acclaimed production Dogs of Europe.
On Sunday (26 February), an alleged incident occurred on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide that resulted in Mr Sidorchyk being charged with “committing an act of indecency” while onboard.
According to local media, the performer is alleged to have assaulted a fellow passenger, with AFP officers attending the scene upon the flight’s arrival at Adelaide Airport.
Mr Sidorchyk appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday (27 February) from the city watchhouse via video link.
He was ordered to surrender his passport, report to Hindley Street Police station and remain at his hotel in the CBD, reported The Advertiser. He is not allowed to leave the state.
Adelaide Festival chief executive Kath Mainland said Mr Sidorchyk would no longer appear in the performance at the festival.
“Aleh Sidorchyk will no longer be appearing in Dogs of Europe and will be replaced by Ilya Yasinski and Igor Shugaleev,” Ms Mainland said in a statement.
“The production will open on Thursday night and continue its run until Monday 6 March, as planned.”
Mr Sidorchyk had been scheduled to leave Australia on 7 March.
It is expected that the matter will be resolved at the next court hearing on Monday 6 March.
AFP acting superintendent Paul Everingham said all travellers had the right to feel safe and should not be subjected to offensive behaviour.
“When travelling through the airport and when on a plane, people are bound by Australian law and where there is evidence that someone has committed a criminal offence, the AFP will take action,” he said.
“The AFP is committed to supporting airport staff and aviation partners and will continue to protect law-abiding Australians while maintaining zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour.”
Based on a dystopian novel by Alhierd Bacharevic, the Belarus Free Theatre says Dogs of Europe offers “a powerful warning of the corrupting influences of dictatorship”.
The company, which performs works focusing on freedom and democracy, has been banned in Belarus by the dictatorship of…
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