Saved (play)

From Censorpedia

Date: 1965

Region: Europe

Subject: Violence, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Theatre


Artist: Edward Bond (b. 1934)

Confronting Bodies: British Lord Chamberlain

Date of Action: 1965

Location: London, England


Description of Artwork: Bond's play Saved has one scene that has been described as, "the ugliest scene [sic] I have ever seen on any stage." In the controversial scene an illegitimate infant is tormented, smeared with feces and stoned to death by an angry mob. The scene is meant to depict the gruesomeness of urban life.

The Incident: The Lord Chamberlain, Lord Cobbold, was willing to give Bond a license for the play if he was willing to rewrite the mob scene. Bond refused and was not given a license to perform the play. Another of his plays, Narrow Road to the Deep North, suffered severe editing before it could run.

Results of Incident: The play showed at private clubs and influenced a controversial trial that led to the end of theater censorship in England in 1966. The case helped invigorate the English Stage Company, a theater group of the Royal Court Theater in London.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones. Category:Violence