WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Original Loot script with Lord Chamberlain's comments made available digitally

The public will now be able to view original production notebooks from Beckett, Pinter and Rattigan as well as correspondence from the Lord Chamberlain relating to modern British theatre


The British Library are releasing over 100 articles relating to modern British theatre in an online archive.

Discovering Literature: 20th Century features items such as Samuel Beckett's production notebooks for Waiting for Godot and Happy Days, censor's notes on Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey and a rehearsal script of Loot with comments from the Lord Chamberlain.

The archive delves into the stocks of the British Library to explore the work of 14 dramatists and 17 key plays. It features original playscripts, production photographs, posters, programmes and more.

As well as original artefacts, the website also features articles by writers and academics including Michael Billington, Dan Rebellato, Andrew Dickson and Max Stafford-Clark.

Lead producer of the British Library's Digital Learning Programme Anna Lobbenberg said: "The 20th century bore witness to one of the most thrilling and innovative periods the British stage has ever seen. Exciting young playwrights like Shelagh Delaney, John Osborne and Harold Pinter redefined what drama could be about and made it vitally relevant for a new generation of theatre-goers."

In the rehearsal manuscript of Loot, the Lord Chamberlain's comments include the censor calling the play "unpleasant," citing examples including "blasphemy on P.1, a filthy dialogue on P1."

He added: "I find the whole atmosphere of the play repellent."

Click here to access Discovering Literature: 20th Century.