Victory In The West

BRISTOL: Gay author and playwright Jean Genet has given his permission for the first British production of his play The Screens, which deals with the Algerian war of Independence – in Bristol.

When it opened in Paris, it caused considerable political mayhem, as the scars caused by the loss of Genet’s native France losing its last and favourite colony had not yet healed.

Since then it has been staged in New York, but it has never been performed in this country. So winning the first performance rights is a considerable victory for the provincial theatre.

No Harm Suffered

BRISTOL: Parents at a Bristol school rallied to help a teacher who appeared in court charged with ‘indecently assaulting’ six boys aged between 11 and 14 — one of them more than 20 times.

John, a young teacher in the city was charged with six indecent assaults and pleaded guilty to all of them. The magistrates who heard the case conditionally discharged him and ordered him to pay £20 costs.

The prosecuting solicitor, Mr Maurice Sparks, said that John, who is now, of course, out of work, had assaulted the boys over a period of months.

He said: “It is right for me to say that from the voluminous statements in the case it is not revealed that any of the boys regarded this with any gravity, and it is unlikely that any of them suffered any harm.”

John’s solicitor, Mr Patrick Butler, pointed out that the offences John was charged with were minor sexual assaults.

“A number of parents at his school had expressed sympathy with him and concern about his future career.”

Mr Butler added: “In these offences there was a complete and utter absence of motive or desire, and nothing like it will ever happen again.”

The court was never told about the boy who allowed John to “assault” him more than 20 times.