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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
New target for Snow White writer
The Merton Players rehearse the pantomime
Last year's show featured seven "asylum seekers"
A pantomime producer accused of racism for writing a play called Snow White and the Seven Asylum Seekers is hoping to avoid controversy this year.

Rehearsals start on Tuesday for Bob Harrod's new show, Snow Person and the Seven Completely Ordinary People.

The pantomime will be performed at Langtree parish hall in Devon for at least two nights this December

Mr Harrod warned that his latest work takes "a bloody good dig" at political correctness.

People were calling me racist, and it wasn't true
Bob Harrod
He will also poke fun at those who banned last year's panto from being performed in the village hall of Merton, north Devon.

The baddies are the "wicked Merton panto killers" in a jibe at the village hall committee, who said the performances could not go ahead unless the play was rewritten.

Bob Harrod
Mr Harrod criticised the Merton village hall committee's decision

Last year's pantomime was granted a reprieve when the Parish Hall Committee at Langtree, about eight miles from Merton, agreed to host it.

But Mr Harrod, 56, later cancelled the performances because of fears they could be ruined by protesters after the British National Party posted a message of support for the panto on its website.

The play featured seven asylum seekers, including one called Chemical Ali.

Mr Harrod criticised the Merton village hall committee's decision, saying: "All they did was deprive the village of a panto. I don't think anybody benefited from it.

"People were calling me racist, and it wasn't true."

Proceeds from this year's performance will go to the Children's Hospice South West.

Panto seeks asylum seekers
01 Dec 03  |  Devon
Tougher asylum laws proposed
27 Oct 03  |  Politics
Panto dropped in racism fear
03 Nov 03  |  Devon


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