The veteran American writer Gore Vidal is to see his controversial novel about Jesus Christ, Live from Golgotha, translated into a stage play in London.
A rehearsed reading took place last week of an adaptation of the satire, condemned as a Christian Satanic Verses when it was published 10 years ago.
The Gore Vidal book did not provoke the outcry that Salman Rushdie's work prompted. But the plot, in which television networks are sent back in time to cover the crucifixion, Jesus escapes death by tricking the Romans into crucifying Judas and St Paul has a homosexual affair, was deemed offensive by many clergy and the American Republican right.
Malcolm Sutherland, a former associate director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, has been working on the script for the past decade. The Drill Hall, which hosted last week's rehearsed reading, will present the first staged version in November.
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