Mel Smith backs down

  Sethhaniel 14:26 14 Aug 2006

result from earlier closed thread - the theatre was threatened with closure if Mel Smith had smoked his cigar on stage (in his role as Churchill) - so a bit of back peddaling - and the show went on ;)

  zekea 17:50 14 Aug 2006

Shows what giving home rule to Scotland does!

So the "pc" brigade have yet another win, now even in the arts you can not act with out being threatened with legal action.

May be in future the acting professon should stay clear of Scotland just in case.

[Oh and for the record i'm .25 jock]

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:47 14 Aug 2006

If the law says you cannot smoke in a public place, then you cannot smoke in a public place. Why should the arts be given special privileges and be allowed to impose carcinogenic and extremely unpleasant smoke on other people? Members of the acting profession are subject to the same laws as the rest of us and should expect to have to abide by them, just as the rest of us have to. Just because the successful ones become wealthy and famous does not make them important, or entitled to special treatment from the law, just fortunate.

  ade.h 21:00 14 Aug 2006

Well said that man.

"Mel Smith backs down"... onto a sharp spike hopefully.

  justme 21:09 14 Aug 2006

As a Scotsman and an ex-smoker I am glad that smoking has been banned in public places. I am not politically correct but rather enjoy breathing clean air and not having my clothes stinking of other people's stale smoke.

As regards Mel's actions, actors do not deserve any special dispensations. When they are called to shoot someone in a play they do not actually fire a live bullet at their fellow actor. Why then should they be allowed to smoke when a dummy cigar would be enough?

  Forum Editor 00:06 15 Aug 2006

Errrm, it's difficult to know where to begin with that one. I'm no fan of Mel Smith, and when he was asked to leave a Scottish pub because he lit up his cigar in defiance of the ban I joined with others in condemning his action, but come on - this is something quite different.

In the context of this thread we're talking about an actor playing the part of an icon - a man whose cigar was as much a part of his public image as his victory sign. It's simply unthinkable that Churchill could be portrayed on the stage without a cigar being lit, and a glass of (albeit imitation)brandy being drunk, and I'm astonished that anyone would dream of having it otherwise.

To suggest that there could be the slightest chance of anyone suffering in any way because one man up on a stagein a theatre is smoking a cigar, is frankly so daft as to be laughable. The world's gone totally mad when something like that causes a furore, and I for one am sad that our society has become so obsessed with 'correctness', so determined not to allow anything that is even remotely likely to offend a single human being that it makes a laughing stock of itself.

We should be ashamed at what we have become.

  DieSse 00:24 15 Aug 2006

Interestingly, I read that when Churchill was actually down in the "bunker", he wasn't allowed to light up, as the air-supply system wasn't sufficiently good.

I'm with FE on this one - PCness has gone laughably berserk in too many areas.

  GRFT 07:27 15 Aug 2006

An iteresting aside to the ban is that some football clubs, rather than try to figure out what is classed as an "enclosed space" and what isn't, have decided to impose a complete ban and make their grounds totally smoke-free.

So gone are the days (mostly floodlit-nights) when parts of the playing field, and the players, could be obscured by a thick blanket of nicotine-charged reek.

  Altruist 07:59 15 Aug 2006

I fully endorse what the FE says and hope this thread does not turn into yet another 'clobber- the-smoker' one. We've heard all that. How about clobbering 'political correctness' instead?

  Sethhaniel 08:47 15 Aug 2006

sorry to disagree - "To suggest that there could be the slightest chance of anyone suffering in any way because one man up on a stage in a theatre is smoking a cigar, is frankly so daft as to be laughable."

'what damage can one smoking do' - Set the smoke alarms off -cause mass panic and people being trampled - And because it's not expected dropped ash could cause a fire. Most public buildings Hospitals/Theatres/Aircraft et al have highly sensitive smoke alarms fitted.

Also if he'd got away with it - it would have been a clear indication that rules/laws can be broken - the wrong message to be sending out.

As has been proved in the past on many occasions - it only takes one cigar/cigarette to cause a fire - and someone who's flouting the law to begin with will no doubt also have no regard for others.

Churchill died in 1965 a long time before most 'fringe goers' where born - people move on - if laws are in place - people accept that - as they accept the 'fake brandy' in the glass - they let their artistic mind conjour up the illusion - the 'fringe' gets away with acting without 'props' or 'costume' in the majority of its shows it always has and always will do - that is its way.

As some photo's show Churchill with a cigar in his mouth - (can you distinguish if it is lit???)

Ask the majority of the population what they know of 'Jimi Hendrix' and the response is he set his guitar on fire on the stage - he performed over 600 concerts and set fire to his guitar 'twice' - so does every portrayal of Jimi have to have the image of him burning his guitar to be PC ??? !!

Any way the idea of the thread was to inform all those who contributed to the earlier thread the 'outcome' of the event in hand - which is now cast in stone - and the reviews -till next 'fringe' when some other 'has been' actor will try it on with another law breaking scam to get maximum coverage for their appearance ;)

  wee eddie 10:15 15 Aug 2006

Not a photograph or a Mimic.

There is no reason why he should not have a cigar, or for that matter several cigars of different lengths strategically placed around the stage. There is no reason why he cannot handle them, wave 'em about, suck 'em and finally stub one out in an ash tray.

But light one, again there is no problem in his putting a flame to one, there lies the rub!

It's illegal for him to suck in vapours and exhale them, and should remain so.

We are, of course, happy that a prop French Window should have a garden scene painted on it so that one appears to be looking out. There is no requirement to create a garden behind it.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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