08 June, 2006


originally uploaded by jim_sangster.
On Monday, I met up with a couple of old friends in Liverpool and their work colleague. What might have been a simple trip down memory lane turned into quite an adventure, because their work friend had procured us tickets to see 'Jerry Springer - the Opera'.

Now, I have to admit, I wasn't all that fussed when it was on in the West End, and by the time it appeared on telly, the ranting Christians had put me off the idea. What bothered me wasn't their protesting - they have every right to be upset and to defend their beliefs. No, what hacked me off was their certainty that no-one should watch something that they hadn't even seen. I'd love to know who the first Christian to watch the play and be offended actually was. How many other Christians paid to see it before a consensus was reached? Any?

Because it's NOT blasphemous. Not even remotely. It is, however, utterly stunning and with more bad language than your average Italian-American gangster flick.

It's been a number of years since the Opera first hit the London Stage. I really wasn't expecting any protestors. So I was slightly taken aback to see about a thousand people lined up over the road from the theatre, and about a hundred more distributing leaflets urging the patrons not to enter the theatre by handing out some particularly unchristian literature about how miserable our lives are.

Right at the end of the protests was one solitary woman handing out leaftets about free speech. They were well phrased (and well punctuated, from what I could see, which is more than I can say for the Christians!!), and she was very polite. Lord, bless her - she's very brave and worth your blessing, unlike the people who bullied their children (still wearing their school uniforms) into holding up placards to protest against a work of art.

I managed to capture a very low-res video of the protestors. That they're singing one of the few Christian hymns I really like was odd, as is one of my friends pointing out the name of the song as he waltzes past.

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