The most infamous Fringe controversies
- Anna Millar
- 22 May 2012
As the Edinburgh Fringe launches its 2012 programme we recall some of our favourite Fringe scandals
Kangaroo Theatre raised religious sensitivities in 2006 when the company staged the notoriously scandalous sex scenes of DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover in a house of god. The performers were using a church hall space, but were moved on by operators Zoo Venues.
Jerry Sadowitz causes an almost annual Fringe storm. His material at the 2011 Fringe was called ‘racist’, ‘misogynistic’ and ‘xenophobic’ and dealt with dead schoolchildren and international disasters while they were fresh in the public’s minds. The Scottish comedian and magician continues to peddle his theory that almost any topic, no matter how tragic or taboo, is fair game.
2007 show Jihad: The Musical sparked protests outside the venue – it was staged five weeks after a failed terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport.
Lastly, 2000 was the year of three religious controversies. Infamous Aussie duo Puppetry of the Penis caused the Church of Scotland to call for a ban due to the chaps’ prolific use of their, er … chaps onstage. Steven Berkoff’s Messiah – Scenes from a Crucifixion raised hackles for portraying Jesus as ‘a lad’ who uses his own resurrection as propaganda. And Scott Capurro caused walkouts by ending a gag in his 2000 show with the line, ‘Holocaust Schmolocaust, can’t they find something else to whine about?’ Debate spread across the press about the appropriateness of using the Holocaust in comedy. Capurro responded by questioning why it was ‘OK to laugh at blacks and homos like me, but not OK to joke about Jews?’