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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Archer backs Fringe hit
Lord Jeffrey Archer
Lord Archer has been jailed for four years
Millionaire novelist Lord Archer is set to benefit financially after a play he backed is a sell-out success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lord Archer, who was jailed last month for four years after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice, invested £300 in a production of Popcorn just days before his trial began.


We will be able to send a cheque to Jeffrey care of the prison governor

Benet Catty, producer
Popcorn is based on comedian Ben Elton's novel of the same name and is being staged at Edinburgh C venue.

The show has been selling out most evenings so far according to the producer Benet Catty, who confirmed that if the show makes a profit, Lord Archer will get a share in return for his contribution.

"It was extremely kind of him," said Mr Catty.

Popcorn
The play is the Fringe premiere of Elton's award-winning thriller
"He's been known to invest in big musical productions, but people perhaps don't realised that he actually has supported smaller companies too."

Lord Archer was just one of the benefactors for the play, theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh also responded to Mr Catty's written attempt to raise the £15,000 needed to stage Popcorn in Edinburgh.

Benet Catty Productions say that Lord Archer may well receive more than the £300 he invested in the show if it continues its current success.

Ben Elton
Ben Elton is currently writing a musical with members of Queen
"It looks like we are going to make quite a good profit, so investors will get more than they paid in," Mr Catty said.

"We will be able to send a cheque to Jeffrey care of the prison governor."

A spokeswoman for the C venue said they had no problem with any of the show's backers.

She said: "Obviously we support anyone who supports the arts.

"Benet has brought a show here in good faith of whoever supported him."

Ben Elton's Popcorn was top of the Bestseller lists after its publication in 1996 and staged as a successful West End play.

It tells the story of a Tarantinoesque film director, Bruce Delamitri, who makes very violent but stylish movies.

A spree of violence by a pair of killers is blamed on his movies and the killers decide that Delamitri should be held responsible.

The two break into his house on Oscars night and a terrible siege ensues.

It is seen as a clever and ironic comment on responsibility and violence.

See also:

19 Jul 01 | UK
Archer jailed for perjury
08 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Ben Elton pens Queen musical
01 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Elton's new arrival premières
15 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Elton to be dad again - naturally
02 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Ben Elton: Labouring under a misconception?
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