News: Clowns Face Ban on Playing Trumpets

In England, Clowns have been silenced by a council which has banned them from playing
their trumpets at Zippo’s Circus.
The circus said it was told by council officials that the show could not go
on unless the clowns dropped the musical part of their act.

The circus, which is currently performing in Birmingham, fell foul of the
Licensing Act 2003 which forbids the playing of live music without a licence.
A spokesman for the circus said that Birmingham City Council officials
warned the show was breaking the law and would be shut down unless it complied.

But proprietor Martin Burton said that applying for a licence was time
consuming and expensive, and called for circuses to be exempt.
Mr Burton said: “I’m a big fan of silent comedy but this is nonsense.
“Live music is an essential part of traditional clowning, and for us to be
told that they can’t play instruments, even in the three minutes of the show
which features trumpets, is laughable.”
Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire, said: “When the law
silences the clowns, one wonders who the clowns really are.
“It would be very funny if it wasn’t so serious for circuses.
“For a long time now, the Government has admitted the legislation is having
a disproportionate effect on circuses. It’s time for them to act and sort out
this mess.”

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