The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 4: Volume Four: The Sixties (Exeter Performance Studies)

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9780859898461: The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 4: Volume Four: The Sixties (Exeter Performance Studies)
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This volume is the fourth and final part of Steve Nicholson’s analysis of British theater censorship based on previously undocumented material in the Lord Chamberlain’s Correspondence Archives in the British Library and the Royal Archives at Windsor. The 1960s was a significant decade for the British, both in social and political spheres, especially in theaters. As certainties shifted and social divisions widened, a new generation of theater makers arrived, ready to sweep away yesterday’s conventions and challenge the establishment. Focusing on plays we know, plays we have forgotten, and plays that were silenced forever, this book reveals how a powerful elite exerted pressure over these new voices in an attempt to preserve the veneer of a polite, unquestioning society.

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About the Author:

Steve Nicholson is a reader in twentieth-century and contemporary theater at the University of Sheffield and the author of several books on British theater of the twentieth century.

Review:

Winner (2016 Theatre Book Prize)

“This is the fourth and concluding volume in a set examining the Lord Chamberlain’s Office censorship of British theater. As one might expect, this final title offers the greatest drama because it chronicles the end of the Lord Chamberlain's Office rule of theater. Nicholson offers a sweeping, thorough historical account of this crucial decade and the tumultuous conflict between the hegemonic power of the government and the emergent voices of an increasingly radicalized theater. Nicholson provides a hearty investigation into the official decision-making process and details the importance of Ronald Hill, secretary to the Lord Chamberlain, both in court and in his secretarial role. Key players such as John Osborne and Edward Bond are considered, as are the roles of the Royal Court Theatre and the Labour Government. Together, this volume and its three predecessors serve as an extremely important resource for a crucial period in theatrical and cultural history in Great Britain. Highly recommended.” (Choice)

"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, Professor of Contemporary Theatre, Royal Holloway University of London)

“Nicholson offers a sweeping, thorough, historical account of this crucial decade and the tumultuous conflict between the hegemonic power of the government and the emergent voices of an increasingly radicalized theatre. Together, this volume and its three predecessors serve as an extremely important resource for a crucial period in theatrical and cultural history in Great Britain.” (A. P. Pennino Choice)

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