Sunday, September 14, 2014

Martin Freeman: Director drops goldfish from West End production of Richard III after accusations of animal cruelty

12 September, 2014


Theatre bosses working on a production of Shakespeare's Richard III starring actor Martin Freeman have dropped live goldfish from the show after accusations of animal cruelty.

A person in the audience at Trafalgar Studios in London's West End is said to have complained about the treatment of goldfish in the play to animal rights campaigners at PETA.

In a press release issued this morning, the charity said: "[The woman] reported that from her vantage point, it appeared that the fish was "ground up with the gravel and pushed up against the sides of the tank" when a cast member submerged himself in the tank and 'thrashed around wildly"".

The controversial scene sees the Duke of Clarence drowned in a bowl of live goldfish on the orders of his younger brother Richard, who wants to take the crown ahead of him.

PETA subsequently called on director Jamie Lloyd to remove live goldfish from the production, saying their use "puts the animal at risk of injury and even death".

.@peta You've declined to see #RichardIII. The goldfish are thriving & well looked after. But, as a vegan, I've followed your recommendation

— Jamie Lloyd (@lloydjamie) September 12, 2014

Announcing its decision to follow the charity's advice, the play's producers insisted in a statement this afternoon that the "safety and welfare" of the goldfish had remained a "top priority".


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