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Tuesday, June 8, 1999 Published at 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK

World: Americas

Police affronted by nude Macbeth

But what would Shakespeare have thought?

By Malcolm Brabant in Florida

Three strippers and a nightclub owner are facing 60 days in jail over a nude performance of Macbeth.

Malcolm Brabant: The new rules insist G-strings be worn
They have been charged by the authorities in central Florida for trying to challenge a local anti-nudity law.

The dancers and owner of the Club Juana on the outskirts of Orlando took William Shakespeare at his word.

As one of the witches in Macbeth says: "Come sisters, cheer we up his sprites and show the best of our delights", and they performed the opening witches scene completely naked.

Challenging regulations

They were challenging regulations imposed by Seminole County which, like many local authorities in Florida, is fighting to control the explosion of lap dancing bars.

The new rules insist that only bona fide theatres can have nude performances.

Elsewhere they insist that G-strings and pasties be worn. In America, pasties are not Cornish delicacies but nipple guards.

The local morality police noticed that these protective garments were missing and were not amused by the nightclub's attempt to expose the hypocrisy of the bona fide rule.

They decided that, as Shakespeare wrote: "the charm was powerful trouble" and booked them at the double.

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