Lord Chamberlain Regrets
A History of British Theatre Censorship
Distributed for British Library
Between 1824 and 1968, British theatre was controlled by censorship. Under the dictate of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, all new plays were read for unfavourable or corrupting content with the intention of protecting the "vulnerable" audiences of the time. Such material was either instructed to be cut or the play to be banned. The effect that censorship may have had on the plays that came out of this period, not to mention the ones that never even got written, is crucial to our understanding of the history and development of theatre in Britain.
Revealed here for the first time are a selection of extensive extracts from key reports, correspondence, and memoranda about some of the most significant plays of the period. Many documents are reproduced in their entirety, allowing the reader direct access to original, unpublished, and unedited archive material. The authors contextualize this material within the political and moral issues of the time, and reveal the fascinating processes and debates that occurred in and around the Lord Chamberlain's Office.