Full frontal row over male nude revue

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The Independent Online

It was meant to be Britain's answer to The Vagina Monologues: a light-hearted but revealing insight into the mysteries of the male member. But now the curtain may never rise on Nude Boys Revue, a song and dance show featuring full frontal male nudity. Its writers face legal action for allegedly stealing the idea from America.

It was meant to be Britain's answer to The Vagina Monologues: a light-hearted but revealing insight into the mysteries of the male member. But now the curtain may never rise on Nude Boys Revue, a song and dance show featuring full frontal male nudity. Its writers face legal action for allegedly stealing the idea from America.

With barely a month to go to its first performance, London's King's Head Theatre is embroiled in a battle of the bulge with the producers of Naked Boys Singing in New York, an off-Broadway show that has become a cult international hit.

The US-based producers say the rival revue, an evening billed as a "celebration of male nakedness", sounds uncannily similar to their own, which features eight nude men singing songs about such sensitive subjects as masturbation and circumcision. They claim that the Islington theatre dreamt up its own version as a thinly veiled rebuke after failing to finalise negotiations that would have allowed it to stage the original.

Now, in a bid to avoid their own production being overshadowed when it too opens in London in November, they are hoping to bring a court injunction barring Nude Boys Revue from the stage. If it does go ahead as planned, they are prepared to sue for plagiarism.

But a defiant Elliot Davis, the producer of the King's Head show, denied any similarity between the two, arguing that his was aimed at a more discerning audience.

"The idea that we are plagiarising is laughable," he said. "It's like they are trying to suggest that no one's ever thought of nudity before."

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