English actor Mel Smith lit up a cigar onstage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, igniting a maelstrom of heat and trouble with the law. The smoking ban in Scotland is punishable by fines of up to GBP 5,000 and the festival could lose its entertainment license. Smith and the producers of “Allegiance” could also be fined.
The comedic actor plays a cigar-loving former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Allegiance, his act of smoking in defiance of existing Scottish law prompted calls by his producer during the first performance at the Scottish capital’s Assembly Rooms.
The Scotsman reports Smith earlier criticized the ban on smoking in public places, which came into force earlier this year, saying, “It would have delighted Adolf Hitler. Congratulations Scotland.”
Smith also threatened to warn the audience of his smoking, by saying, “A third of a Romeo y Julieta will be smoked during this performance. If you find that offensive, f**k off.”