Gay Play's Sex Focus on Public Toilets Sparks Uproar
NEWS ITEM ... Bristol
by Richard Orange
Western Daily Press | 5th Oct 1993
Plans to stage a play about the sordid lifestyles of men having sex in public toilets sparked an outcry last night.
Audiences are being promised a shocking insight into an undercover gay world when the play, MSM, opens in Bristol next month.
Bristol University's Wickham Theatre stage will be transformed into a replica men's lavatory, frequented by actors from touring company DV8.
But one Tory councillor has condemned the production, promoted by a city arts centre which has received thousands of pounds in council grants.
Councillor Ken Blanchard (Con, Frome Vale), shadow chairman of the City Council's Equalities and Community Development committee, criticised the Arnolfini arts centre for supporting the event.
"We owe it to the community to ensure this sort of thing is not being encouraged," he said. "We have to protect the public."
Labour councillor Derek Todder (Lawrence Hill), vice chairman of the Leisure Service committee, said:
"It is not something I would want to see...I'm not sure we could do anything about it. I will talk to my colleagues about it. Perhaps it is something we could best discuss when we consider the funding for next year."
Bristol City Council has given the Arnolfini a £40,000 interest free loan, together with a £3,000 grant for 1993-94.
A spokeswoman for the Arnolfini said city council money was not being used.
"DV8 is funded by the Arts Council and is highly thought of. We do not believe in censoring their work."