It's about time I got round to seeing Jerry Springer - The Opera, the controversial musical written by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee, who previously worked together on the equally blasphemous, almost entirely forgotten Sunday lunchtime TV series This Morning With Richard Not Judy.
Despite being naturally wary of musicals (surely the most despicable theatrical genre after mime) I've only heard good things about the show... oh, apart from some negative response from fundamentalist fascist group Christian Voice, whose hostility evidently hasn't been tempered one jot in the aftermath of their failed blasphemy lawsuit, as they still bothered to send one old man to hand out protest flyers and receive bewildered looks from the queue.
We may all be going to Hell, but that's where all the good music is anyway.
Jerry Springer is as good as I expected, and expectations were high. A relatively modest production in George Square lecture theatre, the casting was still excellent, full of talented singers who lived up the high quality of the script. You probably know what it's about already: a musical pastiche of the group of assorted freaks and screwballs who whore themselves for fifteen minutes of shame on the popular American talk show, with a second Act exploring more existential themes to really question the value and justification of such shameful filth. There's also a guy who likes to defecate himself and a Christ who is a bit gay.
It's funny, smart, goddamn impressive and shocking in a very satisfying way. However much the show has been pulled apart and over-hyped by the blasphemy trial, it's still genuinely chilling to see a parade of Ku Klux Klan members march onto the stage before being brilliantly deflated, and even the most liberal atheist will find themselves slightly shaken by the accusation that the Virgin Mary was the victim of a divine rape. If you haven't seen this already, you'll have plenty of chances. A cultural phenomenon that, for once, deserves the accolade.
American trash tv satire exposed by the whimsical Jerry Springer.