One of Hull’s senior clergy has defended the use of a cemetery for a contemporary circus show, after it was labelled “disgusting and disrespectful.”
The row was sparked after an Australian troupe announced they would be performing in the former General Cemetery off Spring Bank in Hull, as part of City of Culture events.
The show which draws on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “takes audiences on a path through the underworld in atmospheric locations” with performers “dancing above the heads of a roaming audience.”
But some people have labelled it “disgusting, disrespectful and badly thought out.”
A local resident commented on social media said: “It is still a show being put on for money to provide entertainment. In a graveyard. This is disgusting I am ashamed to be from Hull right now.”
Others think it will be a “hauntingly beautiful” show in what was one of the poet Philip Larkin’s favourite places.
He called the cemetery, which closed in 1972, “a natural cathedral, an inimitable blended growth of nature and humanity over a century.”
Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said: “It looks as if it’s a genuine piece of art trying to address issues round death. These are taboo subjects in modern society.
“What is more disrespectful, having a tasteful piece of art that allows us to think about death or have an overgrown, litter-strewn graveyard?”
Former councillor Rosia Nicola said she had given up many Saturdays with others trying to clean up car batteries, mattresses and children’s toys dumped there.
She said: “I can’t understand the fuss. What has been planned I think is really sensitive, very tactful, and in keeping. I think it will be really evocative and very exciting.”
Tickets for the show, from May 18 to May 21, sold out within hours of going on sale.