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BARBICAN LIFE


Sex for the citizens Barbicania


A (very) past Chief Commoner calls for more! – Guest editorial I


s there an unsatisfied demand among City workers for a bit of striptease in the lunch-break? Could corners of the Barbican Centre up their takings with tasteful displays of pole dancing?


These are questions being posed by Guildhall’s Licensing supremo, Edward Lord – questions poor Mr Lord is obliged to put to us by Her Majesty’s Ministers who feel that local authorities (ours included) are failing to entertain us sufficiently. Clearly there are unexploited possibilities here in the City. If Tottenham Court Road can have its Spearmint Rhino gentleman’s club why should Paternoster Square not have its Peep Show, Cheapside its discreetly elegant sex-shop? But while other parts of London such as Tooting Bec or Pimlico are destined never to go beyond the humdrum and mundane, the City with its long history of popular and spectacular public entertainment could be more imaginative. Mr Lord and his licensing colleagues could make a name for themselves as pioneering trailblazers and earn the undying gratitude of Downing Street in the process. For a bit of harmless (and perhaps profitable) entertainment on a larger scale than


sex-shops, two facilities leap to mind. The first, under Guildhall Yard, is the Roman Amphitheatre all beautifully ready for the reintroduction of gladiatorial combat, the latest Chief Commoner acting as Master of the Revels. An old Hollywood film director could perhaps be brought out of retirement to resuscitate a chariot race. An even more popular entertainment would be the occasional public execution outside the Old Bailey – although this would (presumably)require Parliamentary legislation.


There really is no end to possibilities for Mr Lord and co. Bear- baiting, cock-fighting....


Of course it might just appear to them that the City of London is a bit above this kind of thing, even sex-shops, and follow the example of their Elizabethan forebears who turfed out the players and consigned playhouses to the stews of Southwark. Spoilsports.


C. Douglas Woodward 5


C. Douglas Woodward


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