What will Christians say about a naked Harry Potter?
Oh dear. When word of this gets out the Christianists are going to have fits - again. Daniel Radcliffe is the young star of the Harry Potter films. And Christians hate Harry Potter. Various fundamentalist types have been mounting campaigns to have the book banned from public libraries, school libraries, etc.
Their problem is that the Potter books are make-believe. But Christians can’t tell the difference between the fictional and factual. They think there really are witches, demons, devils and the like. So to them the Harry Potter books are pure evil.
And Mr. Radcliffe, 17, is not on their list of favorite people since he is the young man who brings Harry Potter to life in the films.
Well now it gets worse -- at least for the Christians. Radcliffe is about to take a live role on stage in London. And this is going to get fundamentalist tongues wagging -- provided they know what the play is about.
The play is a psychology drama by Peter Shaffer about a disturbed young man, played now by Radcliffe, Alan Strang. Strang commits a horrible crime were he blinds some horses and a psychologist is working with the lad to try find out why this happened. By the way the psychologist is being played by Richard Griffiths, who played Harry Potter’s nasty Uncle Vernon in the film.
Eventually the therapist unweaves the intricacies of Strang’s mind. He finds that the boy’s mother was hyper-religious and she had placed a graphic painting of the dying Jesus above the boy’s bed. As Strang went through puberty and his hormones ran rampant he would bring himself to orgasm. But this image of torture was there for to see. And this leads to his incident with the horses. (I’m reluctant to say much as this will run the plot.)
So all this imagery of the crucifixion and it’s connection to a warped teen is going to be enough. But then it gets worse -- at least worse for Christians. As the Brits would say there are scenes in the production where Alan Strang gets “his kit off”. In other words he’ll be standing, facing the audience, delivering a monologue with “his willy” for all the world to see.
In fact for 60 audience members there will be seats up on the stage, very up front and personal. A writer for London’s Daily Mail said: “I predict that those 60 seats on stage are going to be the most sought-after seats in London.”
Now the legions of teen age girls who moon after Radcliffe will be saving their pennies -- along with quite a few teenage boys with the same sentiments. And they will be able to get in. The producer of the show, David Pugh, said: “I am not going to start playing the game where I say you can’t come because you are 11 or you can’t come because you are 14. Who the hell am I to start saying that? I saw the play at 14 and it changed my life. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t be producing it now.”
And Harry Potter discussion web sites already have had messages from teen age fans saying they are trying to get in to see the show. One 13-year-old girl posted a message saying she wondered what Radcliffe looked like naked only to have the message removed. Another girl said she was already “buttering up” her mother to get permission to see the play.
The nude scene is not a fleeting one. I’ve see the stage production and the film version. And for a nude shot it is relative long -- the scene that is. Pugh says “Daniel is fully committed to the role and he has not asked for any special favours.” That is theatre talk for Harry Potter will be naked on stage. But Pugh points out: “The nudity and those scenes are an essential part of the story. We are not doing it as an excuse to show Harry Potter’s willy.”
The matter was discussed openly with Radcliffe and his parents and his agent. “There were no issues Daniel was worried about. He said he would play whatever’s in the script.”
Radcliffe apparently really wanted to do the show. Author Peter Shaffer has been turning down requests to allow a revival of the play. But he changed his mind when Radcliffe did a private performance of the part for him. Pugh said he’s been wanting to do the play for some years but couldn’t find the right boy for the part. “When Daniel performed for us at the workshop we couldn’t take our eyes off him.” I suspect it will be like that in the theatre -- particularly during certain scenes. I wonder how long it will be before hidden cell phone photos of the willy in question appear on the internet.
Since Radcliffe is worth something like $40 million he isn’t taking the part because he needs the money. The fan web site danradcliffe.com announced that through the site fans could book tickets directly before they go on sale to the public.
Somehow I can't see this happening in Texas.