Noises off: the little horrors of copyright | Stage | guardian.co.uk

Badge Theatre Blog Previous Blog homeNoises off: the little horrors of copyrightIn this week’s bloggers’ roundup: is copyright cramping creativity? And what’s with all the artistic manifestos? Share reddit this Comments 0Sheridan Smith and Paul Keating in Little Shop of HorrorsNothing broken … Sheridan Smith and Paul Keating in a legitimate production of Little Shop of Horrors at Menier Chocolate Factory. Photograph: Tristram KentonLet’s turn first of all to the tricky issue of copyright. Nick Olivero of Boxcar theatre recently got his fingers burnt when he directed a production of Little Shop of Horrors. As part of the creative process, he incorporated elements from both film versions of the show, and he also used text from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and dialogue that he had written himself. As he describes in this open letter to the theatrical community, the excellent reviews the show received were not enough to stop the licensing agency for Little Shop forcing him to cancel the run once they had found out what was going on. He accepts that his actions broke the licensing agreement and that they therefore had the right to shut his show down. But this leads him on to ask exactly where the line should be drawn, from an artistic point of view, when it comes to adapting existing work. He asks: “If ‘we’ can collectively agree that William Shakespeare was the greatest playwright of all time, yet every producer, director, actor, and playwright deems it appropriate to cut and revise his work, then who is to say that any other writer shouldn’t be edited as well?”Sheridan Smith and Paul Keating in Little Shop of Horrors

via Noises off: the little horrors of copyright | Stage | guardian.co.uk.

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