Theatres join forces to save 'Jerry Springer' tour

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The Independent Culture

The tour, which was originally due to start this month, was thrown into chaos when a third of the proposed venues pulled out after the row that accompanied its screening on the BBC.

Theatre managers were dismayed at the prospect of losing the production but they have now struck a deal with the producers, Avalon, for a smaller tour starting in January. Stuart Griffiths, the chief executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome, said that the tour venues were "absolutely keen" it should go ahead. He said: "I respect the right of people to be against it if they wish, but it's a good piece of theatre. It would have sent out a very bad message if the tour hadn't happened. Those who opposed it would have claimed victory and that would be a very dangerous place to be."

Jerry Springer - the Opera, which had an audience of 425,000 people during its run in the West End, was shown on BBC2 in January. But after its broadcast, a BBC executive was forced into hiding after receiving death threats.Many regional theatres feared similar treatment.Stephen Green, the national director of Christian Voice, has announced its intention to prosecute any venue that shows Jerry Springer. He said: "Many theatres are supported by public money and the use of council taxpayers' money to subsidise an offensive, disgusting, blasphemous production will be hard for councillors to justify."

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