Teatro do Mundo Teatro do Mundo Teatro do Mundo Jo Clifford Teatro do Mundo Transgender
Jo Clifford - The Plays - Teatro do Mundo
 The Tree of Knowledge    2011
 Sex, Chips and The Holy Ghost    2011
 The Tree of Life    2010
 The Seagull    2010
 La Princesse de Cleves    2010
 Every One    2010
 An Apple A Day    2009
 Having a Heart    2009
 Spam Fritters    2009
 Chrystal and the General    2009
 Yerma    2008
 An Opera for St. Monan    2008
 Blood Wedding    2008
 Life is a Dream    2008
 The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven    2008
 Leave to Remain    2007
 Tchaikovsky and the Queen of Spades    2007
 Lucy's Play    2007
 The Force of Destiny    2006
 Faust Parts One and Two    2006
 Anna Karenina    2005
 The World    2005
 Great Expectations    2005
 God's New Frock    2005
 God's New Frock (film)    2004
 Sitios    2004
 La Celestina    2004
 God's New Frock    2003
 The Chimes    2003
 S.D.O.    2002
 Madeleine    2002
 Queen of Spades    2002
 The Constant Prince    2001
 Baltasar and Blimunda    2001
 Charles Dickens: The Haunted Man    2001
 Bintou    2000
 Torquemada parts one and two    2000
 Hansel and Gretel    2000
 Inés de Castro (BBC2)    2000
 Ain’t it Grand to be bloomin’ well dead    1999
 Letters from a Strange Land    1999
 The Night Journey    1999
 Life is a Dream    1998
 The Magic Flute    1998
 The Leopard parts one and two    1997
 Writing Home to Mother    1997
 Bazaar    1997
 An Opera for Terezin    1996
 Inés de Castro (Opera)    1996
 War in America    1996
 Light in the Village    1995
 Wuthering Heights    1995
 La Vie de Boheme parts one and two    1994
 Visoes de Febre    1994
 Dreaming    1994
 Celestina (Radio)    1993
 La Vie de Boheme    1993
 Anna    1993
 Inés de Castro (Radio)    1992
 Don Duardos    1992
 What's in a Name    1992
 Macbeth    1991
 The Price of Everything    1991
 Ten Minute Play    1991
 Light in the Village    1991
 The Girl Who Fell to Earth or Shoot the Archduke!    1991
 Quevedo: The Soul's Dark Night    1990
 Santiago    1990
 Inés de Castro    1990
 The Magic Theatre    1989
 Celestina    1989
 Inés de Castro    1989
 The House of Bernarada Alba    1989
 Schism in England    1988
 Great Expectations    1988
 Playing with Fire    1987
 Heaven Bent, Hell Bound    1987
 Lucy's Play    1986
 Losing Venice (Radio)    1986
 Losing Venice    1985
 Romeo and Juliet    1984
 Ending Time    1984
 Desert Places    1983
 The Doctor of Honour    1983
 The House with Two Doors    1982

When I first presented this show I hardly got any reviews because the press all chose to see a show about the Broons instead.

I did, however get denounced by an Archbishop, which was something of a first, and learnt that “it was hard to imagine a greater affront to the Christian faith” than my show.

I treasure this review, along with the New York critic who said of my “Light in the Village” that it was plays like that are “responsible for the decline of the drama since Ibsen”; and the Observer critic who said the opera based on my “Inés de Castro” was “pornography” and the product of so disastrous an artistic error on the part of Scottish opera “that all further performances should be cancelled forthwith”.

It’s reviews like that which make me think I must be achieving something; I was just a bit disappointed that the Archbishop of Glasgow hadn’t actually seen my “Jesus Queen Of Heaven”.

I remember sending him a copy, which he did not acknowledge, but it was probably a waste of time to do so because seeing the play or reading the script was not apparently necessary according to the hundreds of demonstrators who picketed the Tron theatre at the time.

As one of them said “You don’t have to go near a sewer to know that it stinks”; and there’s no denying it’s a forceful metaphor, though, speaking as the sewer in question, I think I would want to question its accuracy.

These were all minor considerations to the literally hundreds of thousands of bloggers throughout the world that tended to agree with the Archbishop and the demonstrators; and though I also got some lovely messages of support I found the level of hatred directed at me something very hard to bear.

When i was fifteen I had realised that if I continued acting people would get to know I wanted to be a girl, and would hate me; and all this was far far too close to the hatred and prejudice I had internalised then, while I was still very vulnerable and young.

I felt guilty, too, for the very vicious abuse suffered by the Tron staff and the Glasgay! staff and even felt responsible for the fact that soon after the show closed Glasgay lost a considerable portion of its funding from Glasgow City council.

None of this was quite the result I intended. What I had meant to do, with this play and its predecessor, “God’s New Frock”, was to look at the fact that Christianity is often used as a weapon against LGBT people to deny us our rights. I wanted to see how this could be justified by the source texts; and in “Jesus Queen of Heaven” make the simple point that Jesus never attacked us and assert our human rights to justice and respect.

I didn’t imagine it would be that controversial.

And so I guess I want to bring the play back now because it still needs to be said.

When I was adolescent, I felt completely alone in my suffering. I was not, of course; prejudice, oppression and injustice are suffered by just about every trans person in the world.

And the global struggle against oppression of LGBT people is profoundly connected to the wider struggle for women’s rights throughout the world.

In that context, this play’s very simple human message is one that needs to be repeated as often and as strongly as I can.

It’s only right to say that not every institutionalised church is hostile to what I am trying to say. The Unitarians are hosting us for the Fringe, and I’ve been so supported by the United Reformed church too. Not so long ago, one of their ministers wrote to me and said:

“Two and a half weeks ago, I read your Jesus play to a trans woman who is dying in hospice.  Her eyes got as big as saucers and her smile even bigger.  She loved it.  It really blessed her.  Thank you.”

I’m frightened of doing this play again. I’m frightened of arousing hostility; and I’m frightened of it being received with indifference.

But whenever I ask myself why I am doing it, I think of that trans woman in the hospice and know why.

I am doing it because I must.