I know this a topic we have had many times but I am considering applying for a scholarship for an MA at Birkbeck and I am looking at the subject of the 1968 Theatre Act (and its affect on general culture/sexuality and gender roles). Was wondering if anyone could recommend any good books on the subject of the act and the build up to it, maybe going back to 1843, 1737 if you are really hardcore.
Wow - sounds really interesting! I have nothing particularly in-depth to say but a couple of books I've been reading recently might be tangentially helpful. Prick Up Your Ears, the Orton biography by John Lahr, has got some interesting stuff on the way the Lord Chamberlain's censorship of Entertaining Mr Sloane suppressed blatant heterosexuality but missed the latent homosexuality, inadvertently making the latter stronger.
And would Mr Foote's Other Leg be good general background reading on the subject? I learnt a lot but then I was starting from a low base.
That is far more analysis than I was expecting, Abby. Many thanks.
My theory is that is a viable subject (coming after the legislation of homosexuality and abortion plus the whole swinging sixties) but just need some secondary and primary sources to prove it and even if I don't get the scholarship I will get some interesting books/plays to read
Dominic Shellard's book on Post-WWII theatre has some interesting bits as a starting point I imagine. Maybe try Dan Rebellato's 1956 and All That? I think he writes in that how some of the main directors at the Royal Court (who were gay) were campaigning against a West End campness in their work.
I picked up "The Time Traveller's Guide to British Theatre" by Aleks Sierz and Lia Ghilardi last month in London. It's more a light-weight introduction to British theatre from Elizabethan times to post-WWII but it might give you some pointers and an overview.
I've only reached "Georgian Theatre" so far and censorship and such has come up already. There's also a "further reading..." book list at the end that may be useful for you.