Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Tis Pity She's a Whore - the Virgin Mary?

This is the poster designed to promote John Ford's 1633 play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, which is being staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

It has been criticised by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds for using the image of the Virgin Mary with Christ. Indeed, it seems particularly provocatively timed to be displayed during Holy Week and on the run-up to Easter Sunday. John Grady, from the diocese, described it as 'crass' and a 'marketing stunt'.

His Grace is a little puzzled. The play is about Annabella and Giovanni, a brother and sister who involve themselves in an erotic, incestuous relationship in a corrupt and violent Italy. They pursue their illicit passions to the play's dark denoument.

Quite what that has to do with Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the donkey is completely beyond His Grace, other than that it's set in Italy and the play has a religious element, just as virtually all of them tended to during that era.

His Grace would simply wish to draw the attention of his readers and communicants to a performance of Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great in 2005 at the Barbican Theatre. The text, as written, demands the burning of the Qur'an on-stage with quite few cursings addressed to Mohammed. But the offending sections were cut so the audience did not hear Tamburlaine say that the Prophet was ‘not worthy to be worshipped’ or that he ‘remains in hell’. The artistic director, Simon Reade, said that such phrases ‘would have unnecessarily raised the hackles of a significant proportion of one of the world’s great religions’.

This great text was bowdlerised, essentially on ‘health and safety’ grounds.

And let us not think that theatres are attuned only to the sensitivities of Muslims: in the same year, some 400 members of the Sikh community descended on the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to demand the play Behzti (‘dishonour’) be cancelled because it caused them offence. The theatre duly obliged.

Christians will not, of course, descend upon the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and the theatre won't take a blind bit of notice of anything muttered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds. Instead, those who designed the poster will glory in a stunningly effective advertising campaign which has spread the length and breadth of the country without them spending an extra penny.

If (as, sadly, it appears) the theatres are once again to be censored by the Lord Chamberlain of equality and diversity, why is Christianity subsumed to what many may consider to be alien religions and foreign faiths?

70 Comments:

Anonymous not a machine said...

I suspect if it has been around since 1633 it should have got by the censors by now.

However perhaps a more relevant theatrical image should have been choosen , does seem a little odd to use the cruxfiction unless it is oberamergau .

12 April 2011 at 17:34  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Christians will not, of course, descend upon the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and the theatre won't take a blind bit of notice of anything muttered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds."

I bet Stephen Green of Christian Voice will be there.

12 April 2011 at 17:39  
Anonymous MrJ said...

What is threatened by these two "artistic" aberrations (West Yorkshire and Barbican) is not Christians or Christianity as such or any one or more of the Christian denominations.

All are threatened by the practice of artistic untruthfulness which makes a travesty of the two dramatic works, one for sensation, the other in dread of a politically malign usurpation.

12 April 2011 at 17:46  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

It is indeed a sorry situation when it is deemed appropriate to invoke self censorship in the arts and elsewhere or to discriminate positively and cravenly seek to assuage the threat of violence from one or other particular minority, rather than tackle the root cause of the problem.

If I were a practising Christian I think I would rightly have cause to feel offended when the same courtesy is retrospectively denied to my faith.

As one of no formal belief allegiance but raised culturally Christian, stuff like this, the defaced bible, the 'piss Christ' and the like, I find all totally repulsive and inappropriately sheltered by the epithet 'art'.

12 April 2011 at 17:47  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

It's about time Christians got 'down and dirty' with our enemies.

12 April 2011 at 17:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

West Yorkshire Playhouse was the plaything of Common Purpose Jude Kelly.

Now that Ian Brown her successor is leaving he clearly wants to offend as many as possible

Even Muslims should be offended by this offensive behaviour

Time to abolish The Arts Council

12 April 2011 at 17:51  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Never heard of the play until now. And it seems the poster has nothing to do with it.

It's the 'arty-farty', ever so deliquent and 'naughty', creative class having yet another go at our so called main stream culture. Oh, the're so clever.

Just another example, alongwith 'The Last Temptation of Christ' and 'The Life of Brian', not to mention repeated examples in 'South Park', of Christianity being denigrated and mocked.

It is offensive. It's sacrilegious. However, it's not incitement because Christians do nothing. It's not our way. And the Catholic Church has been called all sorts by other Christian denominations too.

Ignore it? Demonstrate? Burn the poster?

Is it just the Catholic Church that has complained? Why?

What would Jesus do? What did He do when faced with real life actual humiliation and absolute physical abuse?

The least very least we can do is boycott the play.

12 April 2011 at 17:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Arts Council

Since the W Y Playhouse is publicly funded and the Arts Council provides a regular grant, it is an agency of The State. As such it comes within the scope of the ECHR and the HRA 1998.

It could be seen as officially sanctioned persecution of a religious group by The State and as such not only blasphemous but deliberaely provocative within the scope of the 1986 Public Order Act

12 April 2011 at 17:57  
Anonymous Gerard Tibercross said...

The Pope doesn't, or perhaps I should say no longer, issues fatwahs. The Archbishop of Canterbury has also abandoned the practice. That makes insulting Christ and Christians much safer.

If +Leeds has complained, why has his counterpart in the CofE +Leeds & Ripon not added his voice to the complaint?

12 April 2011 at 18:15  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager said... "...comes within the scope of the ECHR and the HRA 1998... officially sanctioned persecution of a religious group...within the scope of the 1986 Public Order Act"_ A job for the S.Wales Police then?

12 April 2011 at 18:16  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Lord Tibercross,

It may be that +Ripon & Leeds has complained. But the media didn't deem it worth reporting.

12 April 2011 at 18:22  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

*dons art critic hat*

The framed picture of the siblings is at the centre of the picture. That's the clue to the whole thing. The eye line of mary passes over the head of Christ directly at the picture. In fact, it is very dark on the right, naturally taking the eye across the heads, to the picture, and then beyond to the caption. The caption is therefore about the siblings, not the contents of the sculpture. The sculpture is of Mary holding the body of Jesus after he has died for the sins of mankind. At the base of the composition, one can see the candles lit for prayer asking, I imagine, for forgiveness for sins committed. The bowl of flowers are bright red, perhaps signifying blood and violence, and almost directly under the framed picture.

*takes hat off*

Might be more to it than first meets the eye is all I'm sayin'. :)

12 April 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

DanJ0 said...
"dons art critic hat"

You might have a point.

Still deplorably sensationalist and out of order in Holy Week.

I've just read a synopsis of the play and the title reflects the fact that at the time women in the bible were seen as being presented as either whores or virgins.

The last words of the play, uttered by a Cardinal, refer to the sister being a whore whereas it was her brother who initiated the incestuous relationship between them and then murdered his pregnant sister.

Sounds like a story line for Eastenders or Coronation Street!

12 April 2011 at 18:38  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Still deplorably sensationalist and out of order in Holy Week"

Well, yes I'm inclined to agree as it goes.

12 April 2011 at 18:42  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

The framed picture also evokes an imagine of innocence but it's a family picture from the past by the look of it so I expect it's there to suggest lost innocence.

12 April 2011 at 18:44  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

^imagine^image

I wish we had an edit function, I spot them as soon as it is posted every time. *sigh*

12 April 2011 at 18:45  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Hm, Leeds ... went there once, plenty of 'natives' but couldn't find a decent bearer for love nor money!

Anyhows, for once I am genuinely appalled; the poster is a disgrace.

Probably designed by some aberrant pinko, of a similarly 'pink' disposition, aiming to shock and, to invite admonishment; and all so their wizened little souls might cry-out against God-knows-what supposed suppression/repression of their God-knows-what supposed 'human/artistic rights' ... either that, or some clever-dick/dick-head of a marketing agency ... er, the same thing really, one supposes?

12 April 2011 at 18:59  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Well, it may be best to suspend judgment about the play at West Yorkshire. It has long been known as a significant drama of its period, and if properly done may well alert those who know little of the agonies of conscience which can be suffered when a couple are seized by a forbidden passion. Where is forgiveness, where is damnation? How can the disgrace be concealed? and so on... The struggle with sinfulness is after all the theme of the Bible, and the struggle of desire and duty the stuff of classical tragedy. Properly done (emphasis) it is not unsuited to Easter time.

12 April 2011 at 19:00  
Anonymous len said...

Those responsible for this Poster may be surprised (and perhaps concerned ) to know that this poster will be just as offensive to Muslims as it will be to Christians
The nineteenth chapter of the Quran is named Maryam (the Biblical Mary.)

It would indeed be strange for Muslims to defend the Mother of Christ.

12 April 2011 at 19:12  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

An enlightening post DanJo - I get the creative's message now - but even so it's still an insensitive cheap trick to pull, especially in an area thick with muslims and Islamism. I'm sure it was from this area that the so called 'mastermind' of the 7/7/ atrocities Tanweer came from.

As I said an insensitive Cheap Trick. - I hope the play 'bombs'!

12 April 2011 at 19:12  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

The more I look at it, the more I see. The red flowers and the blood on the garments form a line down to the single red thing on the left. Is that a goblet? It can't be coincidental I don't suppose. One of the protagonists is poisoned by a drink aren't they? I hate to say it but it looks quite well composed to me. Sorry.

12 April 2011 at 19:21  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Maybe the dig is directed at Rome being the Whore of Babylon rather than an insult to Christianity in general.

12 April 2011 at 19:38  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo, it's a bloody theatre poster, not a convoluted cypher re' some 'Illuminati' sub-text!

Or is it?!?!?!?

12 April 2011 at 20:01  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Gah. :P That's just the way I was taught to read paintings. You have to interpret the intended meaning using the light, the various bits, and the layout ... without giving it a narrative. I honestly think someone has knocked that up who knows about stuff like that. I means knows too, not like my amateur attempt. :)

12 April 2011 at 20:06  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Damn, I bet you're good with soft-furnishings too! :o)

12 April 2011 at 20:15  
Anonymous Gareth said...

Sorry, Your Grace. I've read and reread the last paragraph of your post and I can't make head or tail of it. Please could you elaborate a little?

12 April 2011 at 20:17  
OpenID Paul Dean said...

It's surprising to me there are no Christians in that area who would at least badly deface the billboard. Shocking.

12 April 2011 at 20:23  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

It's surprising to me there are no Christians in that area who would at least badly deface the billboard. Shocking.

Delinquent novice nuns with spray paint cans and rubber gloves- hmmm!...drool etc - (a la Homer Simpson) also Shocking! :-)

Good thinking DanJo.

12 April 2011 at 20:54  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

The West Yorkshire Playhouse cost £13 million and receives over a million in grant from the Arts Council and almost as much from Leeds City Council.

At least that was before the lovie brouhaha about cuts to the dearie boys and girls of the Leftie theatre establishment. They probably get even more now!

So it's about not offending the hand that hands out the largesse.

Why not put on a nice uncontentious play like-- Othello and have a white playing Othello and a black playing Iago

12 April 2011 at 20:58  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

If (as, sadly, it appears) the theatres are once again to be censored by the Lord Chamberlain of equality and diversity, why is Christianity subsumed to what many may consider to be alien religions and foreign faiths?

I note yet again that Your Grace asks provocative questions, but does not propose an answer, or reason.

I will not repeat the same old, same old, as my brain and finger has become fatigued, but there is a reason why Christianity is being singled out for the metaphorical Ducking Stool.

The simple reason is SOCIALISM, the complicated bit is properly working out where all of this socialism is actually coming from, because it sure is not The Old Soviet Union, or The Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Parties to any notable degree.

Therefore if it is not our political parties or ex Communist dictatorships, who are well and truly at it, as it sure is not our Muslim, or Hindu brothers either; then it would be wise to at least speculate as to whom the enemy really is, and upon a whole lot of other very much related questions.

In other words, asking questions is perfectly fine, however answers, helped along with salient not so well known historical or otherwise facts, should be far more useful.

Please be advised my name is Atlas, not Mr Shrugged. Shrugging is what I often do, it is not my family name, as I do not have a family.

Atlas was created, he was not born of a lowly women, virgin or otherwise.

12 April 2011 at 22:51  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

>>such phrases ‘would have unnecessarily raised the hackles of a significant proportion of one of the world’s great religions'.<<

Big it may be but great it aint! If their rule book were not classified as religious it would be banned for inciting religious violence and hatred.
Dignifying it by pandering to its demands implies recognition of the superiority it claims over other religions.
The use of the pieta in the advertisement is a disgrace.

13 April 2011 at 00:05  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Bred in the bone said...
"Maybe the dig is directed at Rome being the Whore of Babylon rather than an insult to Christianity in general."

Unbecoming - even for you.

Inaccurate too or, surely, the image would be more Papal in nature. It is a picture of Jesus and Mary, numskull, not the Keys, the Papal insignia or the Dome of St Peter's.

The most poignant image of all for any Christian must be the broken body of Jesus in the arms of His broken hearted but composed mother.

There is no suggestion of incestual love in this image but love of the highest order - self giving. To make a possible link, even hint at it, renders me speechless. Is it suggested that Jesus was the product of incest? That Mary and He had an incestual attachment? It is something so profoundly perverted and strikes at the very root of Christianity.

True a Roman Catholic theologian could also see in this Mary, as the Mother of the Pilgrim Church on earth, loving holding the sacrificial offering of Jesus, real flesh and blood of Christ, until His glorious return to earth.

The suffering portrayed is just not right for the theme of the play - rationalisation of a morally evil act and the inevitable consequences for the perpetrators.

The more I think about it, the more inappropriate I think the image is and the angrier I get.

One, because I really can't see how it relates to distorted sibling love. Two, because there is no connection, I find it deeply offensive to the Passion.

13 April 2011 at 00:07  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I keep wondering why I am not really offended by it , clearly too much blogging and getting stuck in.
The young girl getting murderd in the takeaway was bad enough , a machine gun , I ask you, and stash of other arms under 9yr olds bed.

Well at least it is sinking in that the way the previous goverment did things wasnt all it was cracked up to be.

Mrs bone is deeply unhappy so i presume if george hasnt got an answer when parliament returns it will be tears.
This is just about one of the worst few years you could want to be pm should be an MBA question "describe in 2000 words how you would turn around a busted G10 economy after recording its biggest debt in history ,and a wonk socialist goverment have been in power"

lets see what they come up with after the lull , soon be election day and then perhaps it really will sink that you should not decieve the british people.

I think i had better have a break , not much I can add, certainly peppered there sorry ecnomic lies though :)

13 April 2011 at 00:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calm down, Dodo. Remember your age.

The point of the poster may be to juxta-pose the self-giving love of Christ with the self-gratifying love that is centred on lust. Seperate love and sex from its divine purpose, then persuade ourselves this is acceptable, and why not permit incest so long as 'precautions' are taken and no one is 'harmed'?

Its the same logic around today and dates from the Garden of Eden.

13 April 2011 at 00:31  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Moral and artistic judgment suspended pending further information.

It looks as if the image is in a setting where it is being held in reverence in a Catholic household. Compare the setting of Tosca.

Honi soit qui mal y pense. If it becomes evident that the producer means ill then let the case be judged accordingly. It is possible that the intent is to arouse an understanding of the Pieta among persons who know it not or have become estranged from it.

But Cranmer, by comparison, was making a point about self-censorship of the Tamburlaine production for fear of Islamist action.

That is another instance in our present time of the woeful and pitiful state of mankind which is poignantly represented in traditional Christian iconography such as the Pieta, and in Passion Plays.

The words "Kyrie eleison" are often heard in concert performances outside a church setting. Those same words are from the Greek liturgy which would have been chanted for centuries (before and after the schism with the Latin Church in obedience to the Roman pope, and before and after the time of Tamburlaine) until at length Byzantium was overrun by the armies of Islam.

13 April 2011 at 01:09  
Anonymous MrJ said...

....chanted in Hagia Sophia...

13 April 2011 at 01:19  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

MrJ said...
"The words "Kyrie eleison" are often heard in concert performances outside a church setting. Those same words are from the Greek liturgy which would have been chanted for centuries ... until at length Byzantium was overrun by the armies of Islam."

Don't blame the decline on Islam!

The prayer still is chanted in the Eastern liturgy, in Rome Catholic celebrations of the Tridantine Mass and in some Angligan and Lutherian churches.

Islam hasn't eliminated the prayer in Greek - but western christianity has, since the reformation and Vatican II, replaced it with local vernacular.

13 April 2011 at 03:02  
Anonymous len said...

I think the reactions of those who view this poster must be similar to those who gathered around the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Most came to mock, a few who realised the importance of the the tragedy being enacted before them were moved with compassion.Some seemed to get a sort of satisfaction from observing another`s suffering.
As when you read the Bible the Bible in turn reads you ,I think the same happens when you look at this poster and religious symbols.
Some seem to want to to make a profit from the gathering crowd( I include some religious groups in this)
The way we treat the Cross,Jesus Christ,and religious symbols(even posters) gives us a deep insight into what lies at the heart of Man.

13 April 2011 at 08:03  
OpenID scottspeig said...

It always strikes me as counter-productive to give in to the violent thugs, as it sends the message - we won't do anything unless violence is threatened.

In this regards, I'm slightly surprised that there isn't a christian militant group going around destroying things when they mock and debase christianity. Then again, since we are the correct religion, we do not need to resort to censorship!

They will get their just reward in full.

13 April 2011 at 09:46  
Blogger Gnostic said...

The coronation oath was shamefully discarded. Looks like you can add Fidei Defensor to the rejection pile too. How soon before the monarch's job description reads redundant sell out?

13 April 2011 at 09:49  
Anonymous MrJ said...

At the risk of a gibe for patronising, to me what len says at 13 April 2011 08:03 is the most correct and worthy comment on this I have seen so far.

To my mind what the Pieta represents in the contrast between the Christian Gospel and the contents of any authentic version of the Holy Book of Islam is practically the top and bottom of it.

The Last Dodo (13 April 03:02)_"...Islam hasn't eliminated the prayer in Greek - but western christianity has, since the reformation and Vatican II, replaced it with local vernacular." Thank you for responding with this additional information for those who may not know about it.

I did not include it a) for reasons of space, and b) because given the present context, the point of my remarks was a reminder of the danger of letting Islamism achieve its aim.

Perhaps I should now state this more fully. The Islamism of present day Turkey in connection with the politics of Europe is known to be of concern to the Papal authorities, among others.

As everyone knows, Islam has been in occupation of Byzantium from before the Reformation (which came later in the Latin, i.e., western and Roman) part Christendom, and had ejected Christian worship from Hagia Sophia centuries before the Bishops of Rome proceeded with rebuilding the edifice of St Peter's at the Vatican, where, of course, Michaelangelo's Pieta is for all to see to inspire wonder and more than wonder (but not the veneration of idolatory).

There is in our own time a resurgence of Islamism, and one of the clear warning signs of the danger which threatens is demonstrated by instances such as the self-censorship of a major drama from a major English playwright at a major theatre in the City of London, namely the Barbican which receives funding from the Arts Council.

To my mind what the Pieta represents in the contrast between the Christian Gospel and the contents of any authentic version of the Holy Book of Islam is practically the top and bottom of it.

If there is reason to object to the use of the Pieta to which Cranmer has drawn our attention, is there also reason to object to the use of "Kyrie eleison" and other liturgical words in settings of the Roman Latin Mass
in concert performances outside a church or other sacred setting?

13 April 2011 at 10:10  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Dr Cranmer.
Despite all the excuses & searches for artistic merit & meaning, the truth may be far simpler than some think. The poster IS offensive, it was intended to be offensive and it's a snide dig at the Christian faith.
Icons & religious idols are not of any worth to the believer, but it's not rocket science to realise when someone is deliberately being obnoxious. The poster aims to shock, it fails. But it's a sad comment on the corrupt mind of some poster designer.

13 April 2011 at 11:29  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Preacher..."The poster aims to shock, it fails. But it's a sad comment on the corrupt mind of some poster designer."

While, for reasons given above still suspending moral and artistic judgment on the designer or any other party, may I add this. The words "Kyrie eleison" or "Lord have mercy" whether said or sung in a sacred setting or elsewhere have the power to shock believer or unbeliever, but may fail like the prayers of the King in Hamlet.

13 April 2011 at 12:02  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Mr J.
The poster is in my opnion simply an attempt to shock, it fails to do this & is in poor taste that would I believe offend many people, believer or unbeliever, as several previous postings have proved.

13 April 2011 at 12:31  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Despite all the excuses & searches for artistic merit & meaning, the truth may be far simpler than some think. The poster IS offensive, it was intended to be offensive and it's a snide dig at the Christian faith."

This is like a role reversal. Normally it's me exhorting religionists to see what's before their eyes and now I'm expecting people to read special meaning into stuff. :)

Someone should find the poster designer online and ask him/her why they laid it out like that and used the symbols they used?

13 April 2011 at 13:32  
Anonymous MrJ said...

If Preacher chooses to make a quibbling evasion, so be it.

But, giving the benefit of a doubt about that, may I respectfully attempt to clarify the issue:

Of the poster (or anything else) a person may state, honestly and sincerely, a) that s/he is of the opinion that it fails to shock and is in poor taste, and b) that s/he believes it would offend many people.

That is not sufficient, without some other evidence, to assert that the poster (or other thing) has actually been the result of an intent(possibly misguided)"simply to attempt to shock".

A layman may then ask, honestly and sincerely: If Preacher has further information to that effect, is s/he willing to disclose it so that others too may be helped in forming a right and truthful judgment?

13 April 2011 at 13:52  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"It is a picture of Jesus and Mary, numskull, not the Keys, the Papal insignia or the Dome of St Peter's."

Dodo the play is based in a corrupt and violent Italy, not all the symbolism needs to be in the poster.

13 April 2011 at 15:51  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Bred in the bone said...
"Dodo the play is based in a corrupt and violent Italy, not all the symbolism needs to be in the poster."

Yep, I know. But one of its themes is an attack on rationalism against the backdrop of decadence. I don't believe it is an attack on Catholicism per se, more on the capacity of man to choose evil and persuade himself it is alright, when society loosens its moral grip.

Modern lesson in there.

13 April 2011 at 17:09  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Last Dodo 17:09_Again I have to say just so, but also Nail on Head award.

May be you can you do the same for the Tamburlaine censored at the Barbican issue?

13 April 2011 at 18:41  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

MrJ said...
Last Dodo 17:09_
"May be you can you do the same for the Tamburlaine censored at the Barbican issue?"

Tricky. Cencorship? There has to be some of course but just who sets the parameters and on what basis?

'Tamburlaine-gate' was a decision by the play's director because, presumably, the 'offending' lines were judged unnecessary, wouldn't detract from the play and so possible upset caused was needless. A pragmatic decision and understandable. Appeasement or sensitivity? A mix of both?

'Behzti-gate', on the account given, is, however, indefensible appeasement. To bow to a public protest of a minority is unnacceptable.

Passion Plays true to the Gospel narrative give offence to religious and secular Jews. The churches are 'toning them down' but the essential core truth about the Jews rejection of Christ and their responsibility for His murder are preserved. Going further would be appeasement and a denial of Truth.

None of the decisions were made by the State but by agencies and individuals responsible for themselves. It's when the State, through the Police, act independently and show bias in asserting one sections rights over another, we need to worry and hold them to close account.

Critise and debate the merits of the decisions but embrace the idea that they can be made independently of the State and it's their responsibility to make them and where required account for them to whomsoever has a legitimate right to ask. The State should set the boundaries.

That's a pluralistic democracy. It's messy, inconsistent, annoying, unintelligible and open to abuse and manipulation.

You've got to admire it!

13 April 2011 at 23:35  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Last Dodo 13 April 23:35_Much appreciated.

"presumably, the 'offending' lines were judged unnecessary, wouldn't detract from the play and so possible upset caused was needless."

Difficult to believe that the artistic judgment was not heavily influenced or overwhelmed by the fear or fact of threatening behaviour. Admittedly, where public order and keeping the peace is part of the ambience, there is the problem of deciding where appeasement passes over into cowardice. This applies,of course, in small things and great.

But the play is very long and demanding, and it could be that this was a piece of the action that could best be left out for good performing reasons.

14 April 2011 at 01:12  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"Modern lesson in there"

Interesting take on it, see how everyone finds the interpretation that best suits.

Thats why I prefer my Evil Ogre :o)

14 April 2011 at 06:04  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Mr J.
Final word, why go into the realms of speculative hypertension, the obvious is in front of your eyes. It doesn't need a signature, it's a poster. It's offensive, it's intended to be, it's aim is to provoke debate & to put bums on seats, It has succeeded. So why the hyperbole?.

Yours Preacher. (Male Gender)

14 April 2011 at 11:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone really offended by this? Grown ups?

It is an advert. mildly provocative, that is all.

There is a real new trend for a baby-ish, victim mentality in much of contemporary englsh christianity.

Grow up, get over it and get a life...

14 April 2011 at 13:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine a picture (unpermitted according to Islam) of Muhammed with the strap line 'Tis a Pity He's a Whore'.

Grow up, get over it and get a life ...?

14 April 2011 at 14:07  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Preacher 11:35_ "hyperbole" ???

If you are a party to the transaction or have reliable information about it (which you have not so far presented), you would be in position to assert "it's aim is to provoke debate & to put bums on seats, It has succeeded", otherwise you will not be seen as a witness of truth, or a fit and proper judge in this matter. You could try and face up to it. This is neither a quibble nor a debating point.

14 April 2011 at 15:22  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Mr J.
I can't be bothered to pick nits for you any more. suggest you take anon's advice above about life.

With respects. Preacher.

14 April 2011 at 15:40  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Preacher_ Perhaps you should have thought a little more carefully before making an unsupported, slack but preachy remark about a person whose acts you so casually condemned, in a discussion which you evidently take no other interest. We may hope you do not make a habit of it.

Otherwise, ditto.

14 April 2011 at 16:43  
Anonymous len said...

How about looking at this another way, substitute Jesus in the poster for your wife/partner and have the World view it.
Still view it the same?

14 April 2011 at 17:59  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Len: Yep, that does it right enough. You've cut through the crap with just twenty seven words!

14 April 2011 at 18:51  
Anonymous MrJ said...

This would be worth a serious discussion, len(17.59), but this place does not seem propitious, and today's topic is under consideration.

14 April 2011 at 18:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder Cranmer got burned at the stake - the image is not "the Virgin Mary". Anyone with a rudimentary theological knowledge would know it was Mary Magdalene who retrieved Christ's body from Calvary; annointed his wounds; and attened the tomb on the Sunday to discover Christ had risen. And guess what, most theologians accept that Mary Magdalen was a common whore - that's why Christ was criticised for his relationshiop with her.

Sorry, but this is a synthetic furore based on flawed biblical knowledge.

15 April 2011 at 08:30  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Anonymous (08:30): anyone claiming "rudimentary theological knowledge.." ought at least to know what is meant by "Pieta" (and could make a start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet%C3%A0)

15 April 2011 at 08:50  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr J,

His Grace thanks you for responding to Anonymous 08.30. Customarily, His Grace does not bother with them because they are either ignorant or gratuitously offensive. This one is, as you point out, simply ignorant: the Pietà is a well-known subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.

15 April 2011 at 09:21  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Preacher 14 April 11:35 and 15:40

Hyperbole??? I have today found this: " Huckabee said '... I use hyperbole in the course of trying to paint a word picture....."
(source: Public image of Mike Huckabee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_image_of_Mike_Huckabee citing http://www.votesmart.org/speech_detail.php?sc_id=322527&keyword=&phrase=&contain=

Is that in any way related to your odd usage of that word?

[You may know that Mr Huckabee has lately been in the news again in connection with the agitation or protest about President Obama's "natural born" US citizenship and the connection with the another item in the news: Kenya and the Mau Mau atrocities.]

15 April 2011 at 16:54  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

^ Wikipedia :O :O :O

15 April 2011 at 17:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

18 April 2011 at 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out what Director Jonathan Munby thinks of the whole thing.
http://bit.ly/fcJsnf

23 April 2011 at 12:40  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-13142590

"The Playhouse said the poster was "intended to represent a sacristy". It said: "The focus of the image, and therefore at the centre of the poster is the picture of the children holding hands, the suggestion being that candles are being lit and prayers given in the sacristy for these children."

23 April 2011 at 13:17  
Anonymous Phil Davies said...

The Blog asks "..why is Christianity subsumed to what many may consider to be alien religions and foreign faiths?" But surely Christianity IS a foreign religion having been established in the Middle East and conveyed to to Cyprus and on to Britain by Paul.
Surely NO religion should be ring fenced on the grounds of sensitivity when each established faith today has, in its time, questioned and undermined the faiths preceeding them.

12 May 2011 at 09:28  

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