Shannon Matthews The Musical creator defends show: 'When you joke, you break down taboos'

The Essex punk band have defended their decision to run the musical based upon the kidnap of the schoolgirl Shannon Matthews

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The creator of Shannon Matthews The Musical has spoken against critics who have condemned his decision to pursue his controversial show.

The musical follows the story of the schoolgirl, Shannon Matthews, who was reported missing by her mum Karen in 2008.

Essex punk band K*nt and the Gang have created the musical which depicts the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the schoolgirl, including songs such as "Can't work, won't work and Meet the Matthews".

Mussarat Pervaiz, MP for the constituency of Dewsbury – where Shannon disappeared from in 2008, criticised the decision to pursue the show, dubbing it "disgusting".

The band has remained firm in its decision, disagreeing with the views of vocal critics.

The frontman for the Essex-based rock band, who uses an alias, said: "I am firmly of the belief that when you joke about things you break down taboos and it opens up the forum for discussion.

Karen Matthews, mother of Shannon Matthews, leaves her home in Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor accompanied by family liaison officers.
Karen Matthews, mother of Shannon Matthews, leaves her home in Moorside Road, Dewsbury Moor accompanied by family liaison officers.
Shannon Matthews The Musical will be showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer
Shannon Matthews The Musical will be showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer

"I had never written a musical before and haven't since. The more I saw and read about the case the more extraordinary it seemed, and I just kept getting ideas come to me," he emphasised in an interview with Yorkshire Live.

The musical will be showcased at the Lending Room in Leeds and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The band have welcomed criticism, adding how they will take it with a "pinch of salt".

When probed on whether he enjoys sparking a reaction, the frontman replied: "Not especially.

"But it's better to have some people love something and some people hate it than have everyone thinking it's humdrum."

Shannon was found in 2008, Michael Donovan was arrested at the scene and charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.

On April 8, 2008, her mum Karen was charged with child neglect and perverting the course of justice.

The joint trial of Donovan and Karen Matthews commenced on 11 November 2008 at Leeds Crown Court.

Both defendants were later found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and perverting the course of justice, and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Karen served half of her sentence, and was released from prison in April 2012.