Gay Romeo & Julian school play called ‘political correctness’ gone mad
A British school that staged a gay version of Romeo and Juliet – called Romeo and Julian – has been accused of "mind-blowing" political correctness.art and culture Updated: Feb 28, 2009 13:06 IST
A British school that staged a gay version of Romeo and Juliet – called Romeo and Julian – has been accused of "mind-blowing" political correctness.
The play, which was performed by teenagers at a mixed school in east London to coincide with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) History Month, has caused a stir in parliament.
Drama teacher Jo Letson reworked Shakespeare’s play to challenge ‘homophobia and homophobic bullying’.
The version was praised by actor Sir Ian McKellen when he saw it last month, reports The Telegraph.
Calling for a debate on political correctness during questions on upcoming Commons business, Tory MP Philip Davies said: "This is mind-blowing."
"Anyone with an ounce of sense would want their children to be learning Romeo and Juliet rather than Romeo and Julian."
The MP for Shipley in Yorkshire added: "Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest works ever written. It is a play that every child should study.
"It is very worrying that this literary masterpiece is being used for such a politically-correct purpose."
However, Commons leader Harriet Harman rebuked him, saying: "I seem to remember that in Shakespearean times, boys would play girls and girls would play boys and the whole point was trying work out which was which.
"There is going to be a debate next Thursday about new equality legislation so we can ensure everybody in this country is treated with fairness, respect and not subject to prejudice and discrimination – and indeed cheap shots – from you."
The play was performed by students aged 14 to 16 at Leytonstone School last month.