Prudery Regeneration Committee…MSPs moralise about distinguishing between the ‘right’ kind of nudity enjoyed by cultured theatre goers vs the ‘wrong’ kind of nudity enjoyed by uncultured strip club goers

Posted: 5 March, 2015 in Scottish Parliament, Strip Pubs
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federation of scottish theatre logo Theatre productions that contain nudity will be exempt new repressive licensing laws covering sexual entertainment, the Scottish ‘Justice’ Secretary has said.Michael Matheson moved to reassure MSPs that the proposed new licensing regime will not impact on artistic freedom of expression on the stage enjoyed by the cultural elite.

Holyrood’s Local Government and Prudery Regeneration Committee has heard that measures in the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill could have an inadvertent impact on risque shows. The Bill would allow local authorities to ban sexual entertainment venues in an area.

Jon Morgan, director of the Federation of Scottish Theatre, told the committee last month that this could affect performances at the Edinburgh Festival which contain nudity or explore issues such as pornography. His concerns were raised by independent MSP John Wilson, who asked Mr Matheson to give theatres an assurance that they would be exempt from the legislation.

We’ve heard in evidence as a committee from theatre group representatives who were concerned that they may be impacted upon in terms of their artistic expression by some vexatious complaints or other individuals using the legislation as proposed to shut down certain theatre productions.

Matheson said:

I think it’s a fair point to be raised and a reasonable concern for some establishments to actually have. That is why we’re going to take forward some guidance in order to give some specific direction around this area about the types of premises and circumstances that would be exempt in these circumstances, so that could be for example a theatre production that does involve some nudity in it for a particular performance or series of performances that they are operating.

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