What’s most interesting, though, is the responses that we’ve got from readers of the Mercury on their facebook page.. Most articles attract one or two comments. This one has attracted over thirty comments and replies.
The tone of a lot of them is negative, versions on the theme, ‘How dare someone do a play about such a terrible story!’ A few of us have weighed in (politely) in the play’s defence. For me, it reinforces exactly why we should take on challenging work like this. The criticisms in the paper seem to be suggesting that we should brush issues like the ones dealt with in The Boys under the carpet and hope they’ll go away. Clearly that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
The challenges being presented by this play are significant. It asks questions about our society, the men in it, poverty and the effect of shocking events on others in ways that go beyond tabloid newspaper headlines. I’m looking forward to our production. Here’s hoping some of the facebook critics come to their senses and maybe even come along and see it!