‘Katie Hop­kins’ mu­si­cal opens at Welsh the­atre

Western Mail - - NEWS -

A NEW play which asks what would hap­pen if Katie Hop­kins was mur­dered is to open at a the­atre in Wales.

The As­sas­si­na­tion of Katie Hop­kins will use the fic­tional death of the for­mer Ap­pren­tice con­tes­tant- turned­no­to­ri­ous-right-wing colum­nist as a way of ex­plor­ing themes of “truth, celebrity and pub­lic out­rage”.

The pro­duc­tion, a mu­si­cal, fol­lows the story of two young women – one a char­ity worker and the other a trainee solic­i­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing the un­re­lated deaths of mi­grant worker – both of whom get caught up in the after­math of Hop­kins’ killing.

The opin­ion­ated and much-re­viled 43-year-old has gone from one con­tro­versy to an­other in re­cent years, di­vid­ing opin­ion and pro­vok­ing strong re­ac­tions with her in­flam­ma­tory thoughts on sub­jects like race, re­li­gion and refugees, who she in­fa­mously com­pared to “cock­roaches” in a 2015 ar­ti­cle for The Sun.

In ad­di­tion, she sug­gested at a Ukip party con­fer­ence in the same year that the heart­break­ing pho­to­graph of Ay­lan Kurdi, the three-yearold Syr­ian whose body washed up dead on the Turk­ish shore in 2014, was staged. She then went on to crit­i­cise de­men­tia suf­fer­ers for be­ing a drain on the NHS.

“De­men­tia suf­fer­ers should not be block­ing beds,” she tweeted to her fol­low­ers – cur­rently num­ber­ing 849,000. “What is the point of life when you no longer know you are liv­ing it?”

She sug­gested that Wales’ only con­tri­bu­tion to the world was “Ji­hadis and a bloody silly ac­cent” – a ref­er­ence to rev­e­la­tions that some ter­ror groups had train­ing links to Ceredi­gion, Powys and Pem­brokeshire, while at­tack­ing a group of Welsh mums “for be­ing al­lowed to breed at all.”

Hop­kins left The Sun to join Mail On­line, only to have her col­umn there axed two years later in 2017.

Prior to that she was sacked from talk ra­dio sta­tion LBC af­ter she ap­peared to call for geno­cide fol­low­ing the Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack which left 22 dead.

“I dis­agree with the vast ma­jor­ity of what Katie Hop­kins has to say,” the play’s co-writer Chris Bush told The Guardian. “Po­lit­i­cally, I couldn’t be much fur­ther from where she is on the spec­trum. Whether she is use­ful or has any right to say what she says is a much more com­pli­cated ques­tion.”

Bush added that the show would ex­am­ine so­cial me­dia, specif­i­cally the lim­its of free speech and the mob men­tal­ity en­cour­aged by Hop­kins.

“Does hav­ing the right to a voice give you a right to a plat­form?” Bush asked.

■ The As­sas­si­na­tion of Katie Hop­kins runs at Theatr Cl­wyd from 26 April to 12 May, with pre­views from 20 April.

> Katie Hop­kins

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