Sources at the London production of Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi have told Playbill On-Line that the show is doing well at the box office and that protests of the play have died down.
Corpus Christi is scheduled to close at London's Pleasance Theatre Nov. 20. Playbill On-Line has learned that a West End transfer of the production is being considered and may take place early next year depending on theatre availability.
Playwright Terrence McNally's controversial Corpus Christi caused him to be named the subject of an Islamic "Fatwa" in the United Kingdom on Oct. 31, following the play's opening at London's Pleasance Theatre. Being the target of a Fatwa, which means an Islamic judicial "opinion," is a serious matter and is widely viewed by Westerners as a death sentence.
"The production has smashed all box office records at the 300-seater Pleasance Theatre, despite the vile homophobic protests nightly from angry Muslims," said show spokesperson Kevin Wilson. Wilson said that cries from outside of “Burn in hell you dirty queers,” could be heard on stage during the production.
"It's been selling out pretty much," another source confirmed, "and the protests have died down a lot. For the first couple of weeks we used to have cops checking peoples' bags as they were walking in and there were protesters. The cops are still here to do routine check ups and they stay here for the first hour, but there are not really any protesters here and the security is not needed." "We've had mixed reviews, that must be said," Wilson explained, "but while the New York production was a disaster with critics, we've had a [better] critical success, it's just been absolutely amazing. We have one magazine here, What's On In London, which is like Time Out in New York, and they liked it."
Wilson said the reviews in London seemed to be running two thirds for Corpus Christi and one third against. Wilson quoted one paper's reviewer as saying the play was "a passionate plea for tolerance and Christian compassion. It also forced this member of the audience to examine his own fragile faith and to discover that the embers of belief were still glowing somewhere deep inside."
-- By Murdoch McBride