Murder, rape, sexual abuse and stealing - subjects enough to make any writer salivate over a juicy plot.
However the context is all, as Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti discovered when her controversial play Behzti (Dishonour) led to an angry protest outside one of Birmingham's biggest theatres.
Now MPs are preparing to discuss the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill which will clamp down on publications, performances and broadcast deemed to incite racial or religious hatred.
But academics and representatives of the Sikh community, speaking at a Birmingham University debate, believe a legal challenge would have been more effective if legislation had been in place.
Sewa Singh Mandla, chairman of the city's Council of Sikh Gurudwaras, suggested laws were needed to prevent "the abuse of freedom of speech and freedom of expression".
The content of Ms Bhatti's play featured sexual abuse and a rape scene, set within a Sikh temple.
Addressing the audience at the university's Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, Mr Mandla, a retired solicitor, said: "Sikhs regard the Gurudwara as a place of worship as being very sacred.
"What the play depicted in the Gurudwara was kissing, drinking, sexual abuse and matters of much concern.
"Freedom of speech should not be absolute, freedom of expression is not absolute, this is how abuse creeps in."
He claimed that theatre bosses at The Rep wanted to exercise their right to freedom of speech, and refused to move the setting of the play to a community hall or nightclub.
Mr Mandla said: "But we have the right to express ourselves to, by way of demonstration, which is what we did.
"But if there was legislation by which this could have been challenged in the courts, we would not have needed to do that."
Professor Gurharpal Singh, an expert in Sikh and Punjab politics, based at the university's theology department said the outcry over Behzti was "a re-run of the Rushdie affair".
He said: "I think the issues relating to the protest and the play have not gone away, they still need to be discussed and debated. But it's virtually impossible to draw a line between what is sacred and what is open to criticism."