Marking 50 years since the Theatres Act (1968), which abolished state censorship of the British stage, this exhibition examines the impact of censorship in Britain and its shifting role today.
How has censorship adapted to govern what we see and experience in the theatre? Who are today’s censors? How are audiences involved in the discussion?
This exhibition showcases over 80 objects from the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collections and spans 300 years of British performance history, encompassing theatre, film, music and print culture. From cinemas withdrawing A Clockwork Orange to the BBC banning the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’, the display examines how censorship has affected the performing arts and considers its impact on society.
The display also includes a specially commissioned artwork by satirical cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe and original works from the artist’s own private collection.
Documents and works from the V&A’s Felix Dennis Oz Archive, recently acquired with Art Fund support, will be exhibited for the first time and provide a fascinating insight into the magazine’s obscenity trial of 1971. Highlights include original paste up artwork boards by Martin Sharp and the infamous explicit parody of Rupert Bear which helped to instigate the prosecution.