31 MAY 1957, Page 8

IT HAS LONG been a complaint of the Irish that

the rest of the world will not take them seriously; but when their authorities act as idiotically as they have done in the case of The Rose Tattoo prosecution, what can they expect? In a country which has no censorship of the theatre the authorities are perhaps bound to act against a production which they consider to be indecent or profane; and whether or not they were justified in doing so in this instance is a matter for the courts to decide. But there seems to be no excuse' for the way the case has been handled. The pro- duction, after all, had received high praise from critics on both sides of the channel; and as the theatre is pocket-sized, it is unlikely that to have allowed it to run its last few days unmolested would have corrupted the Irish people. It would surely have been sufficient to give warning that a charge was pending. As it is, by arresting the pro- ducer the authorities invited the' very type' of ridicule that the festival was designed to dispel. I hear from the periodical Encore that a fund is being raised for the producer's defence; contribu- tions should be sent to 25 Howland Street, WI, payable to 'The Rose Tattoo Fighting Fund.'

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