THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET, LONDON: 10 MAY 2018
JW3, LONDON: 17 MAY 2018
Uncensored: A Tour of Troublesome Texts - Banned and Censored Plays Through the Ages
10th MAY, 7 PM, THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET
To mark 50 years since the end of state theatre censorship in the UK, a team of actors led by Simon Callow performed excerpts from a selection of canonical plays and texts adapted for the stage that were banned and censored across various countries and time periods.
After the performances, a panel discussion looked at the question: Is Censorship Ever Good? The panel included industry figureheads such as playwrights Christopher Hampton and Gupreet Kaur Bhatti, a senior member of the Maly Drama Theatre, free speech campaigner Jodie Ginsberg and theatre critic Michael Billington.
Since the beginning of theatrical history, governments and other cencoring bodies have prevented the performance of plays for political, social and cultural reasons. Directors and playwrights also frequently adapt banned and censored books for the stage. This event coincided with the premiere of Lev Dodin’s adaptation of Vasily Grossman’s previously banned Life & Fate and Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Moliere’s once censored Tartuffe at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
In an era where freedom of speech if constantly re-examined, this event explored banned texts and the power of language and performance.