A Jack and the Beanstalk-themed mural painted by Rolf Harris in one of the dressing rooms at the Theatre Royal Plymouth is to be covered up.
Until now, the artwork had been protected with a Perspex shield, but sentiments towards the decorated wall have changed since Harris’ conviction for the indecent assault of four young girls. A spokesperson for the theatre said: "The Rolf Harris mural in dressing room G4 is now going to be covered in vinyl to obscure it."
Harris created the mural during the 1993-1994 run of the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime, in which he played the character of Simple Simon opposite Bonnie Langford's Jack. The painting includes a self-portrait of Harris dangling off a large branch with a worried expression on his face, his eyes glancing to the side. The entertainer depicted himself as Jake the Peg, the fictional three-legged subject of a song he performed in the Sixties.
Rolf Harris appeared in many British pantomimes, eleven of which were produced by the self-proclaimed "king of pantomime" Paul Elliott. During Harris’ trial, Elliott was questioned on whether he had ever had any concerns for the safety of the children and young adults performing alongside Harris. Elliott replied: “Absolutely not.” He added that the entertainer was prone to hugging, but only in "a warm, cuddly, friendly way".
The directors of Theatre Royal Plymouth aren't the only ones to re-evaluate Rolf Harris' artwork following the entertainer's guilty verdict. Experts estimate that Harris’ paintings are now likely to fetch just ten per cent of their previous worth.
This Christmas, Theatre Royal Plymouth will be staging a new production of Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Bobby Davro and Chico.