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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Romeo & Juliet Fuss
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0197  Friday, 6 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Kenneth Meaney <
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        Date:   Friday, 06 Mar 1998 11:13:31 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss

[2]     From:   Nick Oulton <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 Mar 1998 11:43:13 +0
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss

[3]     From:   James L. Harner <
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        Date:   Friday, 06 Mar 1998 08:13:33 -0600
        Subj:   Romeo & Juliet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Meaney <
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Date:           Friday, 06 Mar 1998 11:13:31 +0200
Subject: 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss

>I'm hoping someone can help me out here.  I seem to remember when I was
>in London in 1994 there was quite a fuss in the media about a scandal in
>a local secondary school where a teacher had been either sacked or
>reprimanded for the way she was teaching *Romeo & Juliet*.  It had
>something to do with her coming out as a lesbian and suggesting that the
>play was heterosexist.  If anyone could point me in the direction of any
>articles or information anywhere that I might be able to access I would
>be most grateful.

The scandal concerned Ms Jane Hardman Brown, the Head Teacher of
Kingsmead School in Hackney, which is in the east end of London.
According to newspaper reports Ms Brown, a lesbian, had cancelled a
school trip to a performance of the _ballet_ Romeo and Juliet at the
Royal Opera House on the grounds that it was "too heterosexist". This
was in early 1994.

The fuss continued for over a year and you will find some articles on it
in archive of the Electronic Telegraph, which came on line in November
1994. The Electronic Telegraph is the Web edition of The Daily Telegraph
newspaper and you'll find it at www.telegraph.co.uk

Ken Meaney
University of Joensuu
Finland

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Oulton <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Mar 1998 11:43:13 +0
Subject: 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0193  Romeo & Juliet Fuss

As I recall, the story was somewhat different. The children at this
woman's school (she was (is?) the head teacher) were offered free
tickets to a performance of Romeo and Juliet. According to accounts in
the media, she turned down the offer, on the grounds that the play was
"heterosexist". This attracted a certain amount of adverse comment,
including from her employer (the local authority). But I do not believe
she was sacked.

Nicholas Oulton

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James L. Harner <
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Date:           Friday, 06 Mar 1998 08:13:33 -0600
Subject:        Romeo & Juliet

I think Belinda Johnston is thinking of Jane Brown's refusal to take her
students to a performance of Serge Prokofiev's _Romeo and Juliet}_. For
accounts, see: Hopkins, Lisa. "Romeo, Juliet, and Political Correctness:
The Case of the Hackney Head." {iShakespeare and the Classroom} 2, no. 2
(1994): 77-78.

"Headmistress Apologizes for Rejecting {iRomeo and Juliet} Ballet,"
{iHouston Chronicle} 21 January 1994, p. 15A.  Coren, Alan. "Is This a
Dagger I See before Me?" {iInternational Express} 26 January 1994.

Young, Susan. "Media 'Witch-Hunt' Led to Year's Turmoil," {iTimes
Educational Supplement} 27 January 1995, p. 4.

Jim Harner
 

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