There are plans to show Jerry Springer: The Opera in Bradford. And naturally, even before it has been confirmed someone from an evangelical Christian church in the city has thrown his hands in the air and said it shouldn’t be shown. The opera is controversial because of the high amount of swearing and its depictions of God and Jesus in the second act, which could be seen as blasphemous.
Earlier this year, when it was broadcast on BBC2, there were protests and a campaign to prevent the programme being broadcast. It drew thousands of complaints (most of which were made using a template provided by a group called Christian Voice).
I watched the show when it was broadcast, and have to say I really enjoyed it. There is a lot of swearing but it’s actually pretty hilarious in the opera context. I’m not a Christian so I was arguably less likely to be offended by the really controversial bits but I still think that the claims of these groups are misguided at best.
Yet, the guy making the compliant in Bradford has not seen it:
He said: “I’ve never seen it and I don’t think it is necessary to see it as I’ve read sufficient information about it to see what kind of production it is.
Personally, I’d suggest that he does watch it, and then make up his own mind, rather than be dictated by what others have said. A number of Christian leaders have come out as saying that the performance was very amusing and only a little controversial if at all. And by letting the performance take place, he will be letting others make up their minds too.
While Bradford is home to the Abundant Life Centre, part of the Abundant Life Church, only around 60% of its population describe themselves as Christian, and of those I’m sure a number will have no or few objections to the content of the play.