Jerry Springer U.K. Tour to Begin January 2006

News   Jerry Springer U.K. Tour to Begin January 2006 It’s the tour many in the industry thought would never happen. Jerry Springer — The Opera looked to be dead in the water after its BBC broadcast provoked an unprecedented protest campaign by Christian pressure groups. One by one the tour dates dropped out, intimidated by threats from the protesters. Arts Council England refused to fund it. But now the tour has been rescued.

Twenty-one regional theatres from around the U.K. have agreed to house the controversial, but multi award-winning show. “Jerry Springer — The Opera was developed on public money in public spaces and belongs to the nation, whether the nation wants it or not,” said co-writer and director Stewart Lee in a statement. “It would be nice if people outside the M25 [the motorway around London] could actually get to see it, despite people’s best efforts to prevent this.” His co writer and composer Richard Thomas said, “I am overjoyed [the show] is going on tour in spite of such extreme protests. I am also buying a flak jacket. And sticking close to shadows.”

The show has been seen by 425,000 people in the theatre and by 2.4 million viewers on BBC 2. It won Best Musical Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards in a clean sweep.

The tour will start in Plymouth on Jan. 23, 2006. Other destinations will include Birmingham, York, Leicester, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Bristol, Bradford, Southend, Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham, Croydon and Brighton. It is not yet known whether a Broadway production will go ahead.

The participating theatres have sent letters of support to the Springer producers, Avalon. Stuart Griffiths, chief executive of Birmingham’s Hippodrome, wrote, “I know the audiences of Birmingham will be keen to make up their own minds after [the show] has provoked such a debate.” Duncan Hendry, his counterpart at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre, wrote, “The visit of Jerry Springer — The Opera to His Majesty’s has stimulated huge local interest and debate — surely that is what live theatre is all about!”

The tour concludes at the Brighton Dome, July 8, 2006. For more information visit www.jerryspringertheopera.com.

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