Festive show by man behind Jerry Springer opera is 'like a Christmas party for Dignitas'

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

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The Independent Culture

If you ask Richard Thomas, the writer/ composer behind Jerry Springer: The Opera, to write your Christmas show, you shouldn’t expect sugar-coated seasonal fare.

And so it is that Merrie Hell at Soho Theatre contains cheery Christmas numbers including “It’s not wrong to wanna die” and “I renounce my religion”.

“If you hate Christmas, you’ll love this show”, says Thomas who has teamed up with David Hoyle, cabaret artist and erstwhile  Nathan Barley star on the show. “It’s like a Christmas party for Dignitas.”

Thomas will accompany Hoyle on piano - his first stage appearance for 16 years. 

This time, at least, he’s not expecting the angry Christian mobs who picketed his Springer chef d’oeuvre. “That was so tedious. I don’t consider my stuff to be controversial. But this show is not bland, I will say that.”

Thomas, whose last hit was Anna Nicole for the Royal Opera, is now working on two major projects – a commission for the National Theatre and a musical version of the 2010 film Made in Dagenham, with David Arnold and Richard Bean, of One Man, Two Guvnors fame.

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