Back in 1981 a hopeful, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed young Mr Chrisparkle, with an unspectacular degree from a spectacular university in English Literature under his belt, applied to a number of universities to spend two years researching The Effects of the Withdrawal of Stage Censorship.
After about 18 months of fascinating research, extensive writing and a whole lot of brick wall head banging, I decided to call it a day. One of the main problems was, having called it “The Effects of the Withdrawal of Stage Censorship”, I largely concluded that there weren’t any. That was probably the wrong conclusion to draw, but once I’d got that idea into my head, there wasn’t any progress to be made!
Since then, I’ve often wondered what, if anything, I should do with all the research and writing I had done. I’ve looked at it, laughed at the pomposity of my writing style, cringed at how politically slanted my approach was, gasped at my occasional use of awfully non-PC terminology (well it was 35 years ago), and accepted that no way was this stuff ever going to get me a postgraduate degree! Additionally, over the years, some much brighter brains than mine have published excellent books about the history of stage censorship, and I’m in no position to compete with them.
But the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of stage censorship seems too good an opportunity to miss, and I feel I must mark it in some way; take another look at what I’d written, jazz it up a little for the 21st century and bring in a few ideas and events that hadn’t even happened at the time – after all, drama didn’t end in 1983.
So, gentle reader, we embark on a new project for 2018. I give you, not “The Effects of the Withdrawal of Stage Censorship”, but “Stage Censorship? Leave it Out!”