Iranian authorities have detained two artists over a theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Shahram Karami, a cultural official, told the official Irna news agency on Monday that Iran’s judiciary had ordered the detention of the Shakespeare play’s director, Maryam Kazemi, and the manager of the theatre in which it was hosted, Saeed Assadi.

Karami said they were taken into custody on Sunday evening after the broadcast of a video trailer about the work. He said it had caused a “misunderstanding”, but did not elaborate, adding that a court had accepted to release the pair on $24,000 (£18,500) bail each.

A clip on social media showed female actors dancing with men as part of the trailer, an illegal act under the Islamic Republic’s strict rules that forbid gender mixing and women dancing in public.

The play was on stage for seven nights before the detentions. The comic fantasy tracks the intertwined fates of four lovers and is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

The police forces and hardliners who dominate Iran’s judiciary reject western culture in Iran. In July, authorities detained Maedeh Hojabri, a teenage girl who posted dance videos online.

In 2014, Iran sentenced six young men and women to suspended prison terms after they appeared in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song Happy.

Source » theguardian