Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 20:39 UK

'No offence meant' in Diana play

Diana the Musical website
The website for the musical shows a cartoon of a skeleton wearing a tiara

A university student's satirical musical about Princess Diana has been banned from opening to the public over fears of causing offence.

The University of Brighton has decided the controversial performance should be open to invited guests only.

Publicity for Diana The Musical shows a line drawing of a skeletal princess wearing a tiara.

Student Rupert Dannreuther, 20, who wrote the musical for a degree course, said he had not meant to cause offence.

The play, which is to be performed in a university-owned theatre bar, shows Princess Diana living in Mexico with dead celebrities.

'Distasteful joke'

In a statement, the university said: "We fully support freedom of expression but we also recognise sensitivities regarding possible offence."

Mr Dannreuther, who is studying for a BA in Theatre and Visual Art, said the play was not intended to offend, but was to highlighting the nature of celebrity and the media.

"I do not wish to be unfair to Diana's memory, merely to make a piece of theatre," he said.

Margaret Funnell, from Brighton's Diana Circle, said: "I think this is a distasteful, disgusting thing really, and to joke about the accident happening in the tunnel - I don't know what the world's coming to."


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