What do you get when you mix television’s lowest denominator with the pinnacle of performance art? Jerry Springer: The Opera, that’s what.
Dubbed as the “opera that people can relate to,” Jerry Springer: The Opera is one of the hottest-selling tickets at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which runs from Aug. 4-26 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
According to The Associated Press, the show’s sell-out performances have even generated talks of a transfer to London’s West End.
Featuring operatic antiphonies crooning “My mum used to be my dad,” dancing Ku Klux Klansmen chorus lines and a singing cast composed of cheating spouses, strippers, crack addicts and transsexuals, it’s no wonder this opera is a hit, even amongst Britain’s theater critics.
Britain’s The Sunday Times called the show “splendidly disrespectful,” while the Observer viewed it as “very funny, very foul-mouthed, superbly sung.”
Richard Thomas, the show’s lyricist and composer, said he was inspired by the show, which was recently named the worst TV show in history by the editors of TV Guide.
“One night, I was watching the show, and I realized there were eight people screaming at each other, a chorus baying for blood, and I thought–that’s opera,” Thomas told the AP.
“It’s a show filled with despair, but it’s a huge commercial success. People are ashamed to admit they watch it, but it’s a success. It’s shameless and it’s shameful. That’s great for opera.”
The show’s creators hope the trash-TV host will be flattered by the high level of seriousness they have applied to the show. Springer reportedly said he wants to catch the opera when he visits Edinburgh for a television festival later this month.