Griffin's 'Question Time' inspires Bonnie Greer opera

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The Independent Culture

It was one of the most controversial programmes in television history. When Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, was invited on to BBC 1's Question Time, it sparked massive protests. The programme, earlier this year, had extra edge because Mr Griffin was next to the black academic and playwright Bonnie Greer.

Now Ms Greer has responded to her experience in a most unusual way. She has written an opera based around the Question Time programme, and it is to be staged at the Royal Opera House.

Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said last night that the work would be staged during the new season which starts this month. The opera is likely to be seen at Covent Garden towards the end of the season next April. Mr Hall said he was very excited at the prospect of the opera, an example of how Covent Garden is going out of its way to add to the repertoire and bring new audiences into the opera house.

The encounter between Ms Greer and Mr Griffin was a focal point of the programme. It was sometimes humorous, but often edgy and uncomfortable. It is not yet known who will sing the parts of Ms Greer and Mr Griffin, nor who will play other members of the panel and the chairman, David Dimbleby.