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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 8, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

    Playing with Fire?

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    It looks like the present writer is not the only one who doesn’t appreciate the “context” of  certain jokes relating to the Nazi period in history (see my previous posts about Tommy Tiernan.) Author Peter Sheridan had a difficulty with the production called Adolf  in the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin.  Herewith the report in The Irish Times by Arts Editor Deirdre Falvey:-


    Peter Sheridan: Is it all a question of
    context? (Photograph by Frank Miller)


    Writer and director Peter Sheridan interrupted a play and other audience members walked out of the Tivoli Theatre on Thursday night in protest at the opening performance of Adolf , a one-man show written and performed by Pip Utton.
    Described in promotional material as a “an acute anatomy of fascism; its ideological justifications, its poisoned utopias”, Utton first performs as Hitler “ranting”, then changes to a hate-filled character who tells racist jokes.
    “What I do is manipulate the audience to make them smile or laugh at the sexist or racist bits,” Utton said. After all the “racist malarkey”, he said he turns it around on the audience, adding: “I don’t need a second coming, I never went away” to make people aware “we all have a potential little Hitler inside of us”.
    While Utton was in full racist flow, greeted by laughter from some sections of the audience, Peter Sheridan stood and called on the crowd for tolerance, and left five minutes before the end. He spoke on Liveline yesterday, with Utton and other audience members who rang the radio show.
    Utton said later that he regretted Sheridan walked out, especially that he left before the closing message. He claimed Sheridan arrived 20 minutes after the show had begun at 7.30pm.
    Sheridan said the “horrible, reprehensible, Nick Griffin-type character was very well done”, but that he felt the show was inviting a response from the audience. While “disturbing theatre can be good, if you are disturbed in the right way”, he felt it wasn’t clear enough as an attack on fascism.
    “When you are dealing with incendiary material like that, you need to be sure the audience leaves the theatre knowing the violence of this message is put in context, and for me the context wasn’t right last night.”
    Utton said he credits his audience with intelligence. Sheridan said: “If a show is working, there are points that would be met with silence, not hollers of laughter.”

    • mike says:


      I fell off my chair laughing when I read your most recent complaint that posts by me and Deaglan are too long. If you look at your own you will see that yours are at least 5 times the length of ours. And as Deaglan pointed out many weeks ago, he wondered where on earth you got the time to write so much. I recently have been reading about that very interesting diosrder called Asperger’s Syndrome, and wondered wheteher you may have it or perhaps CBD (Compulsive Blogging Disorder) that causes you to write so much, much of which is I have to admit quite interesting, if somewhat off topic.

      Do you also do stand-up? No? Well, you should.

    • Aidan says:

      I was just saying that if you didn’t write things like “…I believe I do not have a spare ten years that I would need to expound and list all the ridiculous illogicalities of your position…” – which are pretty meaningless and pointless boasts – your posts could be shorter.

      It reminds me of that sneering article by John Waters, where he boasted that two of his learned friends given half an hour could change the minds of the attendees of a meeting of Atheist Ireland. The boast in itself is uninteresting and pointless without expanding on how his friends might go about this.

    • mike says:


      Asperger’s or CBD?

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