British Library presents Black Theatre Making and Censorship in the Archive – a live and online event

On Wed 6th July from 7.00pm to 8.30pm BST, The British Library hosts an interesting free event, held both in-person and simultaneously available online, which explores the unjustly hidden contributions of black artists in the world of theatre.

Black theatre making is often written out of the archive, credited to white theatre practitioners, or catalogued in ways that make it hard to find. But because Black theatre makers were frequently at the forefront of movements for change, their work was regularly subject to censorship and surveillance and collected in state archives.

This panel discussion and performance explores Black theatre making in the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays Collection, an archive which owes its existence to British theatre censorship laws requiring theatre managers to obtain a license to stage a new play up until 1968.

Come and find out how Black theatre practitioners are talking back to archives of censorship to recover the rich heritage of Black theatre making.

The event will feature staged readings from theatre manuscripts and censored reports held in the Lord Chamberlain’s collection and a chance for audience members to consider what they would censor if these plays were performed today.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

This event is supported by the Independent Social Research Foundation as part of the ‘Archives of Cultural Surveillance and the Making of Black Histories’ project

The event is organised by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. The Eccles Centre exists to support and promote creative research and lifelong learning about the Americas, through the world-class collections of the British Library.

Learn more and book your free tickets here


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