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244Comparative Drama any Shakespeare class, whether the teacher chooses to make the class entirely performance oriented or to include student performances in a more traditional course. Exploring Shakespeare's plays through their own performance ofthem offers students many benefits, ranging from the pleasure of creative collaboration to the improved understanding of the text (both dialogue and implied stage directions) that is necessitated by having to enact it. There are, ofcourse, other methods of encouraging students to appreciate Shakespeare's plays as theater. Videos may be a second best, though they, too, can be helpful in showing different interpretations ofthe same scene. Best ofall, ifone is sufficiently fortunate to find a good production on offer locally, is taking one's students to see a Shakespeare play in the theater. The different methods ofhelping students to negotiate the theoretical complexities of the relationship between text and performance need not be seen as mutually exclusive, though in practice one is always constrained bytime to make choices.Teachers ofShakespeare,even those teaching large classes, should seriously consider choosing to make time for at least some of Rocklin's performance activities to enrich their students' experience of Shakespeare's plays. In-class performance is not only pedagogically sound, it is also fun, as Rocklin's book amply demonstrates. Verna A. Foster Loyola University Chicago Steve Nicholson. The Censorship ofBritish Drama, 1900-1968. Vol. I1 1900-1932. Exeter: University ofExeter Press,2003. Pp. ? + 350. $69.95. Steve Nicholson. The Censorship ofBritish Drama, 1900-1968. Vol. 2, 1933-1952. Exeter: University ofExeter Press,2005. Pp. vii + 431. $75.00. In an effort to protect English audiences the Lord Chamberlain refused to license , and more than once, canonical plays like Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, August Strindberg's Miss Julie, George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession, and Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour. The travails ofthese plays with the Lord Chamberlain's office are well documented. However, little is known about the Lord Chamberlain's censoring of plays like Laurence Hausman's Bethlehem (1902) because ofthe use ofbiblical Scriptures in the play's plot, Mary Stopes's Married Love (1923) because of an impotent male protagonist, Vere Sullivan's Reviews245 We, the Condemned (1938) because of its anti-Nazi stance, and Norman Ginsberg and Eric Maschwitz's BirthdayBouquet(1951) because QueenVictoria and Prince Albert sang and danced their way through a musical comedy. And, these latter plays make Steve Nicholson's three-volume history (two of which have so far been published) ofthe censorship ofBritish drama in the twentieth century a crucial, influential, and groundbreaking view of theater history. The machinations behind the lesser known plays of the British theater explicitly illuminate thepolicies (some ofthem highlyproblematic) followedbythe members of the Lord Chamberlain's office. Nicholson's extensive and detailed research provides an unfettered examination of their deliberations, sometimes highly delicate, concerning English theatrical censorship. Unlike previous critical examinations on the Lord Chamberlain,Nicholson draws from more than fifty thousand previously unexamined files, each file representing a play submitted for licensing by the Lord Chamberlain's office, in the British Library. Even more important, in researching the second volume Nicholson gained access to the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Included in these archives is a treasure trove ofmemos, minutes from meetings, correspondences , and notes that address the larger censorship issues that the Lord Chamberlains office combated. While the first volume is a valuable resource in its reliance on the British Library files, the inclusion ofthe Royal Archives material in the second volume makes it the more revealing and richer volume of the two as Nicholson pairs the file history of the various plays with the larger, overarching concerns ofthe Lord Chamberlain's office,providing a much deeper political and cultural context behind its decisions. The first volume covers 1900-32, slicing the era into two time periods: 1900-1918, ending with the culmination ofWorld War I, and 1919-32. When Nicholson began writingvolume 1,he anticipated his research would cover two volumes. He, therefore, ended the first volume at 1932 for a number of reasons, including that inl933 playwrights began addressing the political upheaval in Europe in their plays, and that in 1933 one of the major...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 244-247
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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