Christians Gather in Yorkshire to Protest Against Jerry Springer - The Opera

|PIC1|Protestors gathered in Yorkshire earlier this week, regarding the controversial stage show Jerry Springer – The Opera. As part of a national tour, the show is at the York Grand Opera House every night this week, and will visit the Bradford Alhambra in May as its only other Yorkshire date.

Major Paul Westlake, of York Branch of the Salvation Army, said: "We are here to put across to people that they should not formulate any ideas about Jesus Christ from this production they are going to see."

"In the production, he is portrayed as a ridiculous figure who says he may be a little bit gay. The issue is that there is a lot in the show that is offensive to Christians. In this country we seem to be able to poke fun at Christianity but not other minority faiths."

Lizzie Richards, general manager of the Grand Opera House, said: "It's up to them if they want to protest. They are perfectly entitled to say how they feel. We are trying to offer a balanced programme. We think it is a great show from great producers written by two very talented people in Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, which is why we wanted it to come to York."

Meanwhile, demonstrators at York Grand Opera House told the incoming audience they were delivering the message of Almighty God.

Written by by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, Jerry Springer – The Opera is a musical on the talk show programme The Jerry Springer Show. The show is also notable for its profanity, its unusual depiction of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and surreal images such as a troupe of tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan members.

The musical was the subject of controversy in January 2005, when its UK television broadcast on BBC TWO was the subject of 55,000 complaints prior to screening, and 8,000 more after it had been broadcast.

The organisation Christian Voice led street protests against the screening at nine BBC offices and announced their intention to bring blasphemy charges.
The musical continues to stir up controversy following the beginning of its national tour in Great Britain.