Thursday, 20 September 2012

Edward Bond's Early Morning

Marianne Faithfull and Moira Redmond in the Royal Court 
production of Edward Bond's Early Morning in 1968.
Photo: Douglas H. Jeffrey

'The events of this play are true'
Edward Bond

Celebrated British playwright Edward Bond's  surrealistic and  controversial  play Early Morning has the distinction of being the only play banned in toto by the Lord Chamberlain, the official theatre censor, whose office was finally abolished in 1968.

The central character is Queen Victoria,
and in the course of the action she strangles her husband Prince Albert with a garter sash (after first poisoning him), and has an affair with Florence Nightingale. 

The reason for the Lord Chamberlain's ban was that the play might have offended the family of the recently dead. After the repeal of the censorship law the play was performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London on 31 March 1968, with Moira Redmond cast as Queen Victoria and Marianne Faithfull as Florence Nightingale. Whether or not it offended the family of the recently dead is not known.

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