The Assassination of Katie Hopkins: Controversial play to open at Welsh theatre

A theatre in north-east Wales has announced a forthcoming production called The Assassination of Katie Hopkins.

How playwright Chris Bush and composer Matt Winkworth swerved Hopkins’s lawyers we don’t know.

The production, which opens in the Emlyn Williams Theatre in Wales on Thursday 26 April, and has previews from Friday 20 April, will examine the culture of online trolls, and the blurred lines between columnists and haters.

The show, about “truth, celebrity and public outrage” begins as a “shocking crime divides the nation. Fingers are pointed, sides are drawn, facts are hard to come by. Why did this happen? How do we move on? What must we remember?”

“It’s easy to have an opinion online, safe behind the anonymity of a keyboard, just like, share and subscribe. But as the digital mob polish their pitchforks, the world starts to question just how free should free speech be”.

Katie Hopkins (This Morning)

The collaborative production will receive its world premiere in Wales. Playwright Chris Bush, who is also a lyricist and theatre maker, is currently an Artist in Residence at the Oxford Playhouse. She was the 2013 Pearson Playwright in Residence for Sheffield Theatres, and her past work includes TONY! The Blair Musical (York Theatre Royal) and Theatre 503’s Poking the Bear.

Matt Winkworth is a composer hailing from Oxford who was last year’s artist-in-residence at The Oxford Playhouse. His work includes High As Sugar (Brighton Fringe, Kings Head) and Animal Farm (Oxford Playhouse).

The musical will be directed by James Grieve, artistic director of Paines Plough, and features a cast including  Rakesh Boury (Wesley), Ché Francis (Karl), Derek Hutchinson (Brian), Genesis Lynea (Nina), Maimuna Memon (Shayma), Amy Booth-Steele (Pam), Bethzienna Williams (Kayleigh) and Matthew Woodyatt (Richard).

The aggressive title has already gained the play early criticism. The prolific online blogger West End Wilma has said: “know her opinions may not be well liked but is a show called THE ASSASSINATION OF KATIE HOPKINS not going a bit too far?”

And Twitter user Gareth James, an actor and singert, commented: “I just wonder what the reaction would be if it were called the assassination of dianne [sp] Abbott”.

While another morbidly joked : “I’m not sure I’d dignify her with the word assassination.”

User @FiLovesTheatre struck the tone best, we’d say, with her tweet which called out the production for simply being “in rather bad taste”.

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins opens at Theatr Clwyd from 20 April to 12 May