Oh what, WHAT. Who are these disgusting, DISGUSTING people? Well, obviously I know who they are – they’re Fred Phelps, the Man Who Just Won’t Die, and his brainwashed cabal of relatives. I don’t want them in my country. I know America just got SUBSTANTIALLY COOLER (oh, Michelle Obama, you are so inspiring, I have never used that word without irony before), but that is no reason for all their loonies to start heading over here. We’re not responsible for maintaining some geographical, Special Relationship Average of Crazy.
Why on earth are they coming now? To Basingstoke, of all places? The Laramie Project premiered in 2000 – although I see they’ve already picketed one production in the States. I wonder if they also ‘visit’ productions of Rent, The Rocky Horror Show, Avenue Q, The History Boys, Taboo, pretty much anything by Mark Ravenhill, Rattigan, Joe Orton, half of the Edinburgh Fringe, The Invention of Love – because if so, that sounds like a fun night out. They could even go to London and wave their silly little flags at La Cage Aux Folles. Is Milk still showing in the cinemas, anyone?
(i hesitate to tag this entry under the label ‘Christianity’ because that’s got nothing to do with what Fred Phelps is practising. But, on the other hand, it has everything to do with Michelle Obama)
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.