Jerry Springer The Opera has ‘bombed’ at the Grand Opera House in York, as
audiences increasingly desert the expletive-laden blasphemous show.
The highest turn-out was on Monday, the opening night, when just over
500 people ensured the 900-seat venue was a little more than half-full. Since
then, figures have plummeted, down to 150 on the Tuesday, no more than 70 on
Wednesday and 60 on Friday. On Thursday, the Grand Opera House management
offered free tickets to students, but even then only 100 bothered to turn up.
Christian evangelists gave out literature and counted the audiences.
Graham Wood, who led the witness in York said today: “Financially,
someone somewhere has lost a lot of money this week. Thursday night revealed
the desperation in the Grand Opera House – giving free tickets to students and
they were the greater majority. We had a good reception from many of these and
one or two fruitful discussions. We shall see what happens on the final
The attendance disaster follows the failure of the production in
Birmingham, where the Hippodrome was barely half-full over its two-week run,
and a dreadful opening week in Plymouth, where despite offering discounts to
school parties, the Theatre Royal sold fewer than one third of its available
seats over the entire run, closed the entire Upper Circle, and cancelled a
Saturday Matinee, Ticket sales are reported as poor at the next venue, the De
Montfort Hall in Leicester.
Jerry Springer the Opera contains blasphemies too awful to print.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said on 25
“Co-author Richard Thomas admitted in January that we were ‘winning the
audience battle’ as he put it. It seems that Jerry Springer the Opera
appeals only to the sort of person who really likes getting dog-mess on his
shoes. Audiences are realising it is a degrading, rubbish show and they are
staying away in droves.
“Our campaign is built on prayer and involves lobbying local councils,
protesting to theatres and advance leafleting at each venue well before the
production actually starts.
“We are then giving Gospel tracts to those attending each showing of Jerry
Springer the Opera, and our campaign teams use tally counters so we get an
accurate picture of how well our campaign teams use tally counters so we get an
accurate picture of how well our campaign has gone and how badly Jerry
Spring the Opera has flopped at each venue.
“For too long Christians have allowed God-haters to walk all over our
faith and drag the name of our Lord through the dirt. Jerry Springer the
Opera has served as a wake-up call to the Church. Ordinary Christians are
getting out on to the streets with the positive message of salvation in Jesus
Christ and God is honouring us with success.
“Jerry Springer the Opera is plainly a failing production under a
curse. I wonder how long the doomed show will stagger on before it is put out
of its misery.” (Christian Voice)
At the same time, the Arts Council has given
Jerry Springer the Opera £30,000 in what Christian Voice calls ‘an amazing
volte-face’. Late last year, Arts Council England said it would not fund the
venture, as it was a commercial proposition. Now, however, it has allocated
£30,000 to be shared between three venues: Newcastle, Norwich and Brighton.