Let children act in local shows, say ministers

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THE GOVERNMENT is calling on amateur groups and local authorities including Portsmouth City and Hampshire County councils to give children more chances to perform in local shows.

Licensing laws are preventing some amateur groups from involving youngsters in their productions which is creating a postcode lottery of opportunities for children to get on stage.

But ministers are now reminding these groups they don't need to apply for individual licences for every child for every performance.

Instead, councils can issue an approval to cover all performances for all children.

Tim Loughton, children's minister, said: 'We have a great tradition of amateur theatre in this country, especially at this time of the year when the local pantomime brings communities together. It is crazy that some children are being denied the chance to perform in shows.'

The government is currently reviewing the law to see if the amateur sector can be removed from licensing laws altogether.