Newcastle Theatre Royal’s Springer show was a flop
Newcastle ‘s Theatre Royal made a £16,700 loss in staging the blasphemous show, Jerry Springer the Opera, official records show. Despite slashing the price of tickets and giving hundreds away for free, the theatre was more than half empty during the week-long run. The records also show that the Arts Council gave the theatre £5,000 of public money to help boost ticket sales.
Last month almost 1,000 Christians demonstrated outside the theatre on the opening night of the show, which portrays Jesus as a nappy-wearing fetishist and says Mary was raped by God. In the weeks leading up to the show Christians had been handing out leaflets to theatre-goers asking them not to attend the Springer show.
The Christian Institute used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain details of attendance and ticket sales for the controversial production. According to official theatre records:
- The total number of people attending the show was 4,493 (10,500 seats were available – meaning the theatre was more than half empty).
- The total number of tickets sold at full value was 2,728.
- The total number of tickets sold at a discount was 1,237.
- The total number of tickets given away free was 528.
- The Theatre Royal received £5,000 of public money from the Arts Council England National Office to subsidise ticket sales and/or any other aspect of the production.
- After all the grants and subsidies of public money, the Theatre Royal still made a loss of £16,700 staging and promoting Jerry Springer the Opera.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “The people of Tyneside have voted with their feet. They are clearly not interested in vulgar and spiteful hate shows which attack this region’s major faith. We now know that the theatre resorted to cutting the price of tickets and even giving them away in order to boost attendance figures. The Theatre Royal has wasted taxpayers’ hard-earned cash in bringing this show to Newcastle. I hope we never again see something this offensive being staged in Newcastle.”