Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Edinburgh smoking drama

Actor Mel Smith has pulled back from defying the ban on smoking in public places during a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The star, who plays Churchill in the play Allegiance, had flouted the ban in a photocall at the Assembly Rooms and promised to do the same on stage.

However, he kept his Havana cigar unlit on Monday morning.

Edinburgh City Council had warned that it would shut the whole venue should the law be broken.
More from BBC News.

The Guardian looks at the impact of the smoking ban on other shows.
In Red Shift's acclaimed original production of Get Carter, "everybody smoked their heads off all the way through it," says director Jonathan Holloway. But not in Edinburgh. Likewise the Fringe hit Bill Hicks: Slight Return, the poster for which depicts actor Chas Early as the late stand-up with a cigarette drooping raffishly from his mouth. The show was returning to Edinburgh, its pre-publicity claimed, "in defiance of the smoking ban". But reality bit, and faced with the threat of a £200 fine, the posthumous Hicks has had to stub out the ciggies.

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