University of Exeter Press

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 2


    • 472 Pages

    This is the second volume in a new paperback edition of Steve Nicholson’s well-reviewed four-volume analysis of British theatre censorship from 1900-1968, based on previously undocumented material in the Lord Chamberlain's Correspondence Archives in the British Library and the Royal Archives at Windsor. It covers the period from 1933 to 1952, and focuses on theatre censorship during the period before the outbreak of the Second World War, during the war itself, and in the immediate post-war period. The focus is primarily on political and moral censorship. The book documents and analyses the control exercised by the Lord Chamberlain. It also reviews the pressures exerted on him and on the theatre by the government, the monarch, the Church, foreign embassies and by influential public figures and organisations.

    This new edition includes a contextualising timeline for those readers who are unfamiliar with the period, and a new preface.


    New paperback, with contextualising timeline and biographies, published in association with the Society for Theatre Research

    This volume covers the period from 1933 to 1952, and focuses on theatre censorship during the period before, during and after the Second World War, focusing mainly on political and moral censorship.

    Nicholson’s volumes are unique in their objective and especially their richness of research material. As such, his Censorship of British Drama represents an unsurpassed source of reference for theatre historians.

    Studies in Theatre and Performance

    . . . should be welcomed as a long overdue account of the role and function of British theatre censorship during the twentieth century.

    Modern Drama

    Introduction: 'The Most Dispensable of All the Fetters'
    Section One: 1933-1939
    1  'Verboten': The Nazis Onstage
    2  'Prudes on the Prowl': The Moral Gaze
    3  'The Author Will Probably Deny It...': Naming the Homosexual
    4  'These Communist Effusions': Testing Tolerance in Politics and Religion
    Section Two: 1939-1945
    5  'Everybody Bombs Babies Now': Politics in Wartime
    6  'Lubricating the War Machine': The Nude in Wartime
    7  'Beastly Practices': Sexual Taboos in Wartime
    Section Three: 1945-1952
    8  'Two Ways To Get Rid Of The Censor'
    9  'This Infernal Business of Sex'
    10  'But Perverts Must Go Somewhere in the Evening'
    11  'The Crazy but Satisfactory Ethics of the English'
    Afterword: 'Congenial Work'
    Notes on Archive Referencing and Authors' Names
    Select Bibliography

    Steve Nicholson is Emeritus Professor of 20th-Century and Contemporary Theatre, and Director of Drama, in the School of English at the University of Sheffield. He is a series editor for Exeter Performance Studies and the author of British Theatre and the Red Peril: The Portrayal of Communism, 1917-1945, also published by UEP.

      • 472 Pages