Last night’s pro-Springer counter demo in Manchester went swimmingly, as organiser Mike Landers reports:
We gathered in the Sports Cafe on time, hurriedly finishing off placards and
so on. A nice little turn out, and then we found out that the tables around
us were occupied by people going to see the show and were laughing
themselves silly at some of the slogans.
The original plan was to wander up to the Opera House around 6.30pm (7.30pm
show start) but a distinct lack of Christian “opposition” meant we kept
putting it back and putting it back. As the queues of audience members grew
and still no sign, we finally made the Executive Decision to head up at
As we gathered opposite the Opera House, there were a lot of curious looks
from the Springer audience, but as soon as the placards were unveiled, there
was a big cheer and a lot of laughter. We launched into a chorus of “We
Hope You Enjoy The Show!” and plenty of people came over to pick up some of
the stickers Daisy had made.
A round of interviews (TV and radio) with myself and John Cooper, more
laughter and chanting (“What do we want? Freedom of Speech! When do we want
it? Mnmnmnmnmn! What do we want? A cure for Alzheimers! When do we want it? When do you want what?”) and some grateful thanks from some of the backstage crew, who left with their own stickers.
Eventually some of the Christians turned up at about 7.15pm. We serenaded
them with “You’re late! And you know you are!” as they took station right
outside the doors. A quick countup of protesters versus anti-protesters led
to the football style chant of “16-3! 16-3!”.
More singing (um, Bohemian Rhapsody got an airing as it was the closest to
an opera song we all knew), some lovely banter. (Ben Schofield: “Gods seen
the show and he says it fucking rocks!”) Oh and an audience member got
completely the wrong end of the stick, yelling “Get a life you sad
bastards!” before scuttling inside. Amusingly, the other punters just
looked at him in shock as his idiocy.
At 7.30pm, showtime so time to retire to the pub. I wandered past the Opera
House at about 8.45, and one of the protestors was still there. Earlier she
had given out a huge number of handwritten cards about spreading the word of
God. As my good friend Geoff said, quite frankly, with dedication and
determination like that, she’s wasted doing what she is doing.
I’ll write more, set up a webpage to show the pictures, but from memory the
“Down with protests”
“Don’t gag the gagsters”
“Jerry Springer stole my other cheek”
“Free Speech! I’m a believer!”
“Its digusting. Its a musical, not an opera”
“It was either this or the hoovering”
“I don’t care about blasphemy, I just hate opera.”
“For one night only: Much Ado About Nothing”
“Stop being so bloody silly.”
Very tired, but happy.
UPDATE: The Manchester Evening News has a report with photos.
UPDATE 2: Mike has the full report plus more photos on his website.