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Norwich panto dame changes her outfit after British Red Cross warning

15:32 26 November 2015

Richard Gauntlett as Nurse Dorothy Dumpling.

Richard Gauntlett as Nurse Dorothy Dumpling.

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Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime dame has had to rethink her wardrobe after the British Red Cross complained about one of her outfits.

Richard Gauntlett as Nurse Dorothy Dumpling and Ben Langley as Muddles.Richard Gauntlett as Nurse Dorothy Dumpling and Ben Langley as Muddles.

Nurse Dorothy Dumpling is the panto dame in the city theatre’s production of Snow White this Christmas, and publicity pictures had seen the colourful character - played by Richard Gauntlett - wearing a costume decorated in red crosses.

However the Theatre Royal was this week contacted by the British Red Cross’ international legal department who requested that the theatre took immediate action to change the outfit.

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “The emblem is a special protective symbol whose use is restricted by law. Norwich Theatre Royal wishes to apologise for its unauthorised use in the costume of the pantomime dame in this production of Snow White.”

Nurse Dorothy Dumpling is now sporting a costume with blue crosses in publicity pictures and the outfit will not be used on stage in the show which is due to open at the city theatre on December 15. Parts of the pantomime programme are also being changed.

A spokesman for the British Red Cross said: “We have no desire to be the villains of the pantomime or to appear heavy handed, but we do have an obligation to protect the Red Cross emblem.

“The emblem is a special sign of neutrality and protection recognised by all sides during armed conflicts.”

They said they applauded Theatre Royal for quickly arranging to change the costume.

The British Red Cross website states that the emblem of a red cross with arms of equal length on a white background is the visible sign of protection under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, that it is the emblem of the armed forces’ medical services and its use is controlled by governments.

It says the British Red Cross is authorised by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to use the emblem within specified limits, and in return for this permission it helps to monitor unauthorised use or misuse (whether deliberate or inadvertent) of the red cross emblem and similar symbols throughout the UK.

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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31 comments

  • Well, that'll come in handy if ISIL attack Norwich. Obviously it would be difficult to tell the difference between real paramedics and Richard Gauntlett in drag.

    Report this comment

    Paul

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

  • Good job it wasn't green or a certain man might have something to say about it! :)

    Report this comment

    belly

    Saturday, November 28, 2015

  • How could they not see it this way-Pantomime=children exposed to symbol on the character of a nurse but now confusingly distorted by an unrealistic alteration in colour. Too heavy handed legalistic response which may in fact be wrong in law since the Geneva Convention only protects protocol of use in conflict zones. Interestingly they are not claiming infringement of copyright because nobody can own this one.

    Report this comment

    guella

    Saturday, November 28, 2015

  • @reader, try looking at @Wymspen's comment and get your head around the fact that the Red Cross emblem and St George's flag are two very different things. Oh, and maybe reading your own comments before posting may help as well!

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • The Red Cross is an important organisation which does need to ensure that its identity is not misused by other groups or organisations. While a pantomime dame may not cause much harm to such an organisation, there are others who might want to misuse the emblems for less benign purposes. The difficulty for the Red Cross is that if they start allowing some people to make use of their emblem, it then becomes much more difficult for them to prevent others from doing the same. It therefore makes good sense to prevent all other groups from making an unauthorised use of the red cross, as the easiest way of making sure that it retains the meaning and the respect that it deserves.

    Report this comment

    Wymspen

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • Argue what are you wittering about ?

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • @reader, oh dear, did you make the mistake of having the Red Cross tattooed on yourself rather than St George's flag?

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • The Red Cross has four EQUAL arms and is only protected if someone copied it exactly, therefore if I was the dame, I'd make 1 arm slightly longer, then the Red Cross cannot say it's there emblem because it does have four equal arm on a plain white backround

    Report this comment

    Adam Beales

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • If I were in charge of the animal charity I'd be rubbing my hands at the free publicity. Just goes to prove how out of touch some clowns at Red Cross are.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • Arfur..probably every kid that has ever painted or crayoned a picture has used it,don't be so pedantic,

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • Arfur..probably every kid that has ever painted or crayoned a picture has used it,don't be so pedantic,

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • Hopefully the Blue Cross won't be as petty.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Dumpling

    Friday, November 27, 2015

  • @reader, who did invent it ?

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Better watch it, the blue cross animal charity will have her for cruelty to pantomime horses! I reckon Baron Hardup made up this story,because it's too fantastic to be true! Did they really object to a few red crosses on a pantomime nurses uniform? They cannot be serious!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • What happened to Xmas spirit ,?Red Cross obviously haven't got any but too many overpaid lawyers . Red Cross didnt actually invent symbol so they need to get over it .

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • The British red cross and st Georges flag is a different symbol so you won't be asked to remove your tattoo

    Report this comment

    Domminique Farrant

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • The British red cross and st Georges flag is a different symbol so you won't be asked to remove your tattoo

    Report this comment

    Domminique Farrant

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • I am bored stiff and don't get Pantomimes either or Circuses or 24hr drinking sad

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • @glennyshock. It is a VERY different red cross - as is shown by the detailed description given in the article.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Arfur it,s still a red cross and a flag is an emblem

    Report this comment

    glennyshock

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Latest news. British Runner Bean Federation object to "Jack & the Beanstalk"

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Whatever happened to the British sense of humour?

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • @glennyshock. There is no accepted symbol for St George. I suspect you may be thinking of the flag of St George - but that is an entirely different thing from the Red Cross emblem.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • This stupidity will cost them through lost donations. They have certainly lost mine.

    Report this comment

    Realistic Rob

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • So the red cross have claimed the symbol for itself has it?How about the symbol for our patron saint,St George? I look forward to them telling me to remove my "red cross" tattoo!

    Report this comment

    glennyshock

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • They're jobsworths. Oh no they're not! OH YES THEY ARE!!

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Hate to pour oil on troubled waters but Blue Cross is a sick animal charity.Litigation pending I fear.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Now I know that my donations are being squandered on lawyers with nothing better to do, I shall find another charity to support. Meanwhile, if anyone can post a reason why the Red Cross has taken this action (which cannot possibly damage its cause or any other good cause), please do so. Otherwise the next Red Cross begging letter is going straight into the recycling waste with the pizza leaflets (although I might just keep the free biro).

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • We are well and truly in the pantomime season. What a gold plated jobsworth.

    Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • Whilst it is understandable that the Red Cross would want to protect it's trademark, it has in this instance ended up looking more like a jack booted dictator, than a humanitarian group.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • What utter nonsense. Yet another jobsworth with nothing better to do!!!

    Report this comment

    MIKEJ

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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