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Censoring the uncensored: the case of ‘Children in Uniform’

Deeney, John F. (2009) Censoring the uncensored: the case of ‘Children in Uniform’. New Theatre Quarterly, 16 (3). 219- 226. ISSN 1474-0613

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British theatre between the two world wars has been a neglected area of interest for contemporary scholars and theatre historians, but a growing body of work in this field has of late begun to challenge the orthodoxies. Much of the new work has focused on the reclamation and repositioning of the work of ‘forgotten’ women playwrights and commercially successful gay playwrights such as Noël Coward and Terence Rattigan. Here, John Deeney examines how the Lord Chamberlain's licensing of Christa Winsloe's lesbian-themed Children in Uniform, and the commercial and critical success of its production at the Duchess Theatre in 1932–33, invites a reassessment of the possibilities open to women playwrights for exploring ‘deviancy’; and how contemporary theoretical positions too frequently ignore the challenge of the historically and culturally specific.

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