Theatre boss defends prostitution play

AN IPSWICH theatre boss today defended stinging criticism of proposals to produce a play based on the Ipswich murders.

AN IPSWICH theatre boss today defended stinging criticism of proposals to produce a play based on the Ipswich murders.

David Newborn, producer at Red Rose Chain, was attacked for “insensitive”, “vulgar” and “self-indulgent” plans to put on a play inspired by the issues surrounding prostitution in the town.

He said: “We have been commissioned to produce a play with vulnerable young women in the town in which we will look at the reasons for street prostitution.

“I am surprised that there is criticism as this play won't be performed until 2009.

“Anybody who knows the track record of Red Rose Chain and our work will know we do not perform insensitive plays.”

Mr Newborn said the £100,000 production, which will include a film and is funded by a grant from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, would go through a workshop process before being staged next year.

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He added: “This is something that has happened to our community and we are not jumping on a bandwagon.

“This will be a work of fiction and the play will deal with some of the underlying issues of prostitution rather than the specific cases.

“The aims of the project are to highlight the risks to potential victims and empower vulnerable people by giving them a voice in the community. It is not a vulgar enterprise.”

Mr Newborn said the production process is in its early stages.

Mark Wallace, campaign director at the Taxpayer's Alliance, criticised the proposals saying the money should be spent on “protecting the public rather than on such a vulgar venture”.

He added: “We should be stopping other women being killed rather than putting on this self-indulgent insensitive play.”

Is a play highlighting the issues surrounding prostitution in Ipswich insensitive or a way of helping vulnerable people? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk