A controversial puppet show based on shamed television star Jimmy Savile will be performed in Brighton.
Jimmy Savile – The Punch and Judy Show will be staged at the Caroline of Brunswick pub in Ditchling Road on Thursday next week.
Despite concerns whether the show was appropriate, a performer said it has been successfully touring – and attracted a “cult” following.
Brighton city councillor Pete West, whose ward is St Peter’s and North Laine where the puppet show is taking place, said: “Although I do not know the details, on the face of it doesn’t strike me very appropriate.
“Unlike Mr Punch, Jimmy Saville is not a fictional character and I would imagine his real life victims may be distressed to hear of this show.”
Gareth Ellis, one of the performers, said: “The show has been performed in London, Norwich and Edinburgh successfully, and has built a cult following. People should reserve judgement until they have seen the show and see where the focus of it lies.
“What Jimmy Savile did was terrible and it is sickening that he got away with it his whole life. People who are fans of his should probably stay at home.”
A spokesman from Caroline of Brunswick added: “Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show is a satirical look at the institutional blind-eye turning that enabled Savile to get away with his crimes over such a long period.
“There are characters in the play that represent the BBC, the NHS, the press and the police, all of whom are shown to be corrupt and partly responsible for what happened.
“There is nothing in the show that mocks Savile’s victims, nor belittles his crimes.
“The Caroline of Brunswick hopes that people will reserve judgement until after they've seen the play, which is why entry is free but audiences can pay what they think it is worth as they leave.”
The play was written by Nick Awde, Gareth Ellis and Richard Rose, and the show won a Malcolm Hardee Award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.