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Evidence from the Lord Great Chamberlain's Office

This document is from a collection of evidence provided to the 1966 Joint Select Committee on Theatre Censorship by the Lord Great Chamberlain, who licenced plays for performance in the United Kingdom. The Lord Great Chamberlain could censor parts of a play or forbid performance of a play altogether if he did not feel the subject matter was appropriate for the stage. Reasons for censorship could include reference to sexually explicit themes, nudity on stage and the use of expletives. While there was general agreement that theatre censorship should be modernised, there was some opposition from MPs who believed restrictions should remain on the portrayal of living persons such as politicians and the royal family. When the Theatres Act was finally passed in 1968, it abolished theatre censorship and ended the Lord Chamberlain's jurisdiction over the stage.