University of Exeter Press

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 4

The Sixties

    • 382 Pages

    Winner of the Society for Theatre Research Book Prize – 2016

    This is the final volume in a new paperback edition of Steve Nicholson’s definitive four-volume survey of British theatre censorship from 1900-1968, based on previously undocumented material, covering the period 1960-1968. This brings to its conclusion the first comprehensive research on the Lord Chamberlain's Correspondence Archives for the 20th century. The 1960s was a significant decade in social and political spheres in Britain, especially in the theatre. As certainties shifted and social divisions widened, a new generation of theatre makers arrived, ready to sweep away yesterday’s conventions and challenge the establishment. Analysis exposes the political and cultural implications of a powerful elite exerting pressure in an attempt to preserve the veneer of a polite, unquestioning society.

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


    Winner of the Society for Theatre Research Book Prize – 2016

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

    This volume covers the 1960s, a significant decade in social and political spheres in Britain, especially in the theatre. 

    Nicholson’s skillful deployment of meticulous archival research is combined with an effective sense of the overall picture of theatre and performance in the 1960s and concludes with a persuasive caution against complacency about the situation after the end of pre-censorship.

    Russell Jackson
    Theatre Notebook

    . . . .we will lament the abolition of censorship insofar as it has robbed us of another volume.

    Anne Etienne, University College Cork
    Studies in Theatre and Performance

    'It’s a brilliant manuscript, forensic and fascinating, rich with detail and countless examples of the hilarious and bewildering attitudes of the later censorship, but with also Nicholson’s characteristic fair-mindedness which treats the Lord Chamberlain and his comptrollers with respect for the difficult job they had to do and the nuanced way in which they did it. It’s a great conclusion to a vital series.'

    Dan Rebellato, Royal Holloway University of London

    Timeline: The Political and Cultural Calender
    Introduction: Galahad and Mordred
    1. The Inflamed Appendix (1960-1961)
    2. No Laughing Matter (1961-1962)
    3. Pleasuring the Lord Chamberlain (1963)
    4. Some S. I will not Eat (1964)
    5. Blows for Freedom (1965)
    6. Going Wild (1965-1966)
    7. Getting Tough (1966)
    8. An Affront to Constitutional Principles (1967)
    9. Let the Sunshine In (1968)
    10. Afterwords (1968-1971)
    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.

      • 382 Pages