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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 September, 2004, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
Curtains lifted on banned drama
An amateur drama group has been given the right to stage a play, despite contravening copyright laws.

The group at Alrewas, Staffordshire, was busy rehearsing its production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" when it was told to abandon the show.

The application was rejected because it might have interfered with a West End production of the play, starring Hollywood actor Christian Slater.

But writer Dale Wasserman overruled it when the group's director e-mailed him.

'Astonished'

Director Paula Dumolo said: "I was completely horrified when I found out, because we were into rehearsals big time.

"We had booked the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield, tickets had gone on sale and advertising was just about to go out.

"We were determined this play would be seen by West Midland audiences, so we e-mailed Mr Wasserman to get some advice and to see if there was any chance he would support us.

"I never really expected a reply, so I was astonished when, within a few hours, I got an e-mail from the playwright himself giving us the performing rights to his script.

"The idea that we were seen as such a threat to a big West End show 120 miles away is unbelievable.

"I'm obviously full of respect for Mr Wasserman. I am very, very grateful to him."

The copyright agents have since clarified that the embargo applies to the London area only.


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