Tuesday 18 May 2008
Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT
THIS EVENT HAS TAKEN PLACE
A full transcript will be available shortly.
Presented by Nicholas de Jongh
Following the AGM former theatre critic Nicholas de Jongh gave the Annual Address under the title First Night Sensations - Some Notions of Decorum and Decency for the Drama!
He began his talk with a series of quotations from reviews in which critics have expressed their outrage at what was offered on stage, inviting the audience to identify the sources which included coverage of plays from Ghosts to Waiting for Godot and Blasted.
Which, he wondered, of the works dismissed today will turn out to be regarded as classic drama in the future? Indeed, what is it that has shocked audiences and critics, from the impropriety of what was considered an immodest dress to sexual explicitness, lack of respect for the Royal Family or foreign governments or political attitudes?
He went on to looking at the role and reactions of the Lord Chamberlain and his office and the effects of censorship whether official or by implication in determining themes that writers and managements would chose to pursue.
After his formal talk Nicholas de Jongh entered into an open conversation with STR Chairman Ian Herbert and invited further questions from the floor.
Fuller details of this talk will be available shortly.
Nicholas de Jongh retired in 2009 from the post of chief theatre critic for the London Evening Standard, a position which he had held since 1991. Prior to that he reviewed theatre for the Mail on Sunday and the Guardian, whose arts reporter and suubsequently arts correspondent he was for the years 1973-90.
His 2000 book on censorship in the theatre, Politics, Prudery and Perversions, won the Society's Book Prize for that year. His first full length play, Plague Over England, based on an incident in the life of John Gielgud, was produced in 2008 at the Finborough Theatre and went on in 2009 to a critically acclaimed West End run. It is now to be turned into a film.
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