Irvine Welsh on Babylon Heights

Welsh writes in The Guardian about his motivations for writing his latest play, Babylon Heights, which is about the munchkins in the Wizard Of Oz and which opens in Dublin next month:

Last week, a disability group representing people of restricted growth attacked the production, which is very disappointing. I am sure that if they see it, they’ll change their minds. The play certainly doesn’t ridicule small people. Anybody turning up expecting to see Mini Me from Austin Powers, or the “baby” star of the current hit film in the US, Little Man, will be highly disappointed; none of the characters evoke these tired stereotypes.

The play resolutely attacks the spirit of discrimination, including the type actively practised by the studio at the time. It does this not by painting the characters as perfect and virtuous, but by making them real people. We have assumed that they have a sexuality, are influenced by carnal needs and experience the drives common to most human beings. I have yet to see any dramatic representations of persons of restricted growth that acknowledges this very basic fact.