Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

A straight ‘no’ from Iris Robinson to gay play invite

Iris Robinson

Iris Robinson has turned down an invitation to see a hard-hitting new play about bigotry against gay people — despite being one of the ‘stars’ of the production.

The controversial MP’s voice will feature as part of To Be Straight With You, which is in the programme of this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

The show features true-life stories of people who have been victims of anti-gay violence or prejudice, including that of a young Ulster man.

Mrs Robinson, the wife of First Minister Peter Robinson, hit the headlines last year after claiming live on air that she knew a psychiatrist who could help gay people “turn away” from homosexuality.

Excerpts from the Nolan Show on which she made the controversial comments will form part of the new production by DV8 Physical Theatre company.

Mrs Robinson raised further controversy last year when she equated homosexuality with child abuse during a Northern Ireland Grand Committee session.

The producers extended an open invitation to Mrs Robinson to attend the show when it arrives in Belfast on October 21.

But Mrs Robinson’s constituency office told the makers she will not be available.

“In a reply to the show’s producers, Mrs Robinson’s office said: “Thank you for your invitation and kind offer of tickets. Mrs Robinson will not be able to attend the Belfast event, as she already has engagements in her diary for those dates.

“Thank you again for contacting us. Best wishes.”

The show’s director, Lloyd Newson, said he was disappointed that she would not be coming to see it on stage.

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