Censorship in Leeds

Thursday 14th April 2011

West Yorkshire Playhouse poster
Click Image to Enlarge

Those ghastly Roman Catholic hierarchs are at it again. This time, the West Yorkshire Playhouse finds that its poster for an upcoming production of John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore has offended the local Catholic community — it shows an image of an altar with a Pietà (grieving Virgin Mary holding the dead body of her crucified son Jesus in her arms). Local religious nuts are arguing that the poster implies that Mary is a prostitute. Now, either this is extreme bad faith or gross stupidity. In the former case, I suspect that local Catholics, led by Bishop Arthur Roche — perhaps jealous of all the attention that Muslims get when they make religious protests — are opportunistically jumping on the bandwagon. Or, these rampant idiots simply have a stupidly literal attitude to images — in which case, they are in the wrong sect: they should become Protestant Evangelicals this very instant. Or get some lessons from the local Jesuits, who might at least have a more sophisticated attitude to how representation works. Either way, isn’t it just a little odd that they have nothing better to do than to make trouble for the West Yorkshire Playhouse? Crass stupidity; but dangerous censoriousness.

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