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16:10 UK time, Thursday, 23 August 2007

Re Is smoking on stage allowed?. I have seen many, many plays where there is onstage drinking, drug-taking, violence, sex, etc, but all of it is faked for obvious reasons. Yet this doesn't detract from the story if it is acted and directed well. Why then is faking smoking such a problem? One feels that it's probably those performers with the least talent complaining loudest...
Rob A, Cambridge

In Genre that just won't die it is a bit rich to ascribe historical thriller solely to Umberto Eco. For example Ellis Peters published two Cadfael books before Name of the Rose was published in the original Italian - and seven before it was translated to English.
Alasdair, London

Apparently Lily the hen "sometimes tries to scratch herself with her missing leg and falls over." Surely she would only fall over if she tried to scratch herself with the remaining leg?
Norbert, Scotland

"Motorists have chosen Spaghetti Junction as the UK's best-known sight seen from a motorway." Which motorway do those motorists see it from? Because whenever I'm on that stretch of the M6, I travel through the junction and it's barely visible at all when you're actually on it...
Paul Greggor, London, UK

Hello, anyone there? Anything happening with Caption comp / Punorama?
Andy, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Monitor replies: Your answers are Yes, and Not Yet.

Martin from Stevenage wrote yesterday about Hertfordshire University's student mag editor's jape with "you'll never publish this" letters. Is it safe to assume that editor has never followed the lead of many other student editors and made it big in comedy?
Mark Mitchell, Aberdeen

I don't know why I'm bothering to write this. You'll never publish it.
Stephanie, Yarm


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