Skip to main content

Letter to the Joint Committee

In 1966, a Joint Committee was established to consider the issue of censorship in the theatre. The Committee took evidence from witnesses and interested parties throughout late 1966 and early 1967. One of the witnesses was the theatre director Peter Hall, who had founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960 and would later become director of the National Theatre. Another was the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan who at the time was the National Theatre's literary manager and would later write several works for the theatre which would be rejected as unsuitable by the Lord Chamberlain. The Committee also took evidence from Benn Levy, who had been a playwright and director before he became involved in politics at the end of the Second World War. Playwright John Osborne wrote to the Committee arguing for the abolition of censorship, stating that it was ‘undemocratic, tyrannical and completely at odds with the mood of the times'.