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Vicar bans 'sexual' Up Pompeii! tribute

A vicar has barred an amateur production of the adult comedy Up Pompeii! from being staged at his church hall in south east London.

The Rev Andrew Willett at Charlton United Reformed Church said the performance would have "inappropriate" because of its "sexual nature".

He told the Mail on Sunday: "What's done in the church must be compatible with Christian values. We're only trying to do what's right and what's good for the community and the society."

The Alexandra Players, which has been using the church hall for 60 years, planned the tribute show to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of Up Pompeii! actor Frankie Howerd (pictured above).

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Louise Gaul from the group told the newspaper "we are all devastated", adding that the group is now searching for a different venue.

With innuendo-laden character names including Senator Ludicrous Sextus and a slave girl called Voluptua, the comedy centres on the bizarre ongoings within a Roman household.

Miles Tredinnick, who wrote for Howerd a stage version of Up Pompeii!, said he was "absolutely amazed" by the decision at Charlton United Reformed Church.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "Up Pompeii! is an adult play and theatre groups should advertise the show with that kind of warning. It's good old-fashioned British seaside humour, a bit saucy perhaps, but so what?"

Rev Willet added: "There's so much sexualisation now that we didn't think it was appropriate and this might add to that. We said we weren't happy."

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