Monty Python

Monty Python star Terry Gilliam’s musical Into the Woods is set to be staged at Theatre Royal in Bath months after it was cancelled by Old Vic over his views on trans rights

Comedian Terry Gilliam’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods is set to for Bath after it was cancelled by The Old Vic when staff protested over the Monty Python star’s strident views on the threat to freedom of speech by Wokeism. 

Mr Gilliam, 80, is co-directing Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical but the London theatre unexpectedly announced last month the show’s highly anticipated run in the capital in Spring 2022 had been called off. 

Today the show’s production company Scenario Two confirmed the Theatre Royal Bath will put on Gilliam’s highly-anticipated version from August next year. 

Old Vic employees were said to have protested – and one was so upset they even resigned – because of Gilliam’s criticism of transgender rights, the #MeToo movement and BBC diversity, once joking that he identified as a ‘black lesbian in transition’.

And addressing allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein he said last year: ‘There are many victims in Harvey’s life, and I feel sympathy for them, but then, Hollywood is full of very ambitious people who are adults and they make choices’.

The Old Vic’s reputation was badly damaged by the #MeToo movement in 2017 when numerous allegations of sexual assault were brought against actor Kevin Spacey during his tenure as the theatre’s artistic director.  

Scenario Two boss John Berry said the theatre bosses in Bath had shown an interest in hosting the musical within hours of the Old Vic withdrawing its support in November. He said Mr Sondheim, who died on November 26, was ‘steadfast’ in his support for Gilliam, adding the celebrated composer would ‘wholeheartedly approve the idea of staging in Bath’.

Comedian Terry Gilliam was cancelled by The Old Vic because of his controversial views around trans rights and the #MeToo movement - but the Theatre Royal Bath will put on his Sondheim show next Summer
Comedian Terry Gilliam was cancelled by The Old Vic because of his controversial views around trans rights and the #MeToo movement – but the Theatre Royal Bath will put on his Sondheim show next Summer
The former Monty Python star, 80, was set to co-direct Stephen Sondheim's musical Into The Woods next year, but The Old Vic unexpectedly cancelled its run for Spring next year
The former Monty Python star, 80, was set to co-direct Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into The Woods next year, but The Old Vic unexpectedly cancelled its run for Spring next year
Gilliam's Facebook post in which he endorsed Chapelle's show on Netflix
Gilliam’s Facebook post in which he endorsed Chapelle’s show on Netflix 

Mr Berry told The Times: ‘I think it is perfect for us. We get a chance to really test the production and then the plan is to bring it into town [London]. This is going to be really exciting. In some ways it is the perfect environment for Terry’s great vision. And Sondheim was thrilled when he knew we were going there.’ 

An anonymous producer added: ‘Of course there are younger artists who have different views than older generations but does that mean inspirational artists like Gilliam have to get cancelled?’  

Old Vic employees were said to be angry and one even resigned because of Gilliam’s stance on Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement and transgender rights, according to The Stage. 

In October Gilliam also publicly backed US comedian Dave Chappelle, who has been accused of attacking the trans ‘community’. The comments led to a walkout by staff at Netflix, but Gilliam called his comedy ‘socially aware, dangerously provocative and gut-wrenchingly funny’.

In 2018, Gilliam responded to the BBC diversity debate by saying: ‘I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian.’ And last year, he sparked a renewed backlash after describing the #MeToo movement as a ‘witch hunt’ that he claimed allowed ‘decent people’ to get ‘hammered’. 

The Old Vic was seriously affected by the #MeToo movement in 2017 when numerous allegations of sexual assault were brought against actor Kevin Spacey during his tenure as the theatre’s artistic director.

Today the show's production company Scenario Two confirmed the Theatre Royal Bath will put on Gilliam's highly-anticipated version from August next year
Today the show’s production company Scenario Two confirmed the Theatre Royal Bath will put on Gilliam’s highly-anticipated version from August next year

The Old Vic’s decision to cancel Gilliam’s show came a fortnight after Gilliam urged his 495,000 Facebook followers to Chappelle’s controversial new Netflix show, The Closer. 

‘I’m encouraging all of you to watch Dave Chappelle’s new show, The Closer, on Netflix,’ he wrote. ‘To me, he’s the greatest standup comedian alive today: incredibly intelligent, socially aware, dangerously provocative, and gut-wrenchingly funny. 

Chappelle has provoked fury among trans activists for making jokes in which he asserts ‘gender is a fact’. His performances are meant to be a satire of the oversensitivity of trans activists. 

The jokes were based upon earlier observations made by Harry Potter author J K Rowling’s who in 2019 stated that transgender women were not actually women and were a threat to her identity.

He has joked that women today view trans women the same way black people might view white women wearing blackface. He also remarked that women are entitled to feel anger toward transwomen, since Caitlyn Jenner won Glamour magazine’s 2015 Woman of the Year award.  

The Old Vic was seriously affected by the #MeToo movement in 2017 when numerous allegations of sexual assault were brought against actor Kevin Spacey (pictured) during his tenure as the theatre's artistic director

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