A performance of a new opera by Lee Hall, Billy Elliot creator, has been pulled due to objections to gay references.

The opera, Beached, was set to premiere on July 15 in Bridlington, England but administrators of a primary school involved in the production have stopped the release dead in its tracks.  The administrators said that the 300 students scheduled to participate in the production would not do so unless the gay content was “toned down.”

Did we mention the main character of this show is gay and is the subject of homophobic taunting?

Hall who writes for London’s Guaridan said that has agreed to tone down the language in select scenes, but not the sexuality of the character.

Hall also said he offered to negotiate with the school and organize diversity workshops, and he tried to persuade Opera North to open a dialogue with the children’s parents, but the company decided to cancel the production instead of being proactive.

Opera North released a statement staying they “respect Lee’s rights as an author,” but “can appreciate the viewpoint of the school.”