This certainly seems to describe Britain's official censor from the viewpoint of the liberal 20th century. Following are some of the Censor's considerations in deciding whether a play would live or die.
- Never show Jesus or refer to royalty.
- Do not blaspheme or mention homosexuality.
- Anyone harming friendly relations with a foreign power is in trouble.
- Anything likely to cause a breach of the peace could bring the curtain down.
Now, for the first time, his records are being published, revealing the judgements of the military officers turned "stage police" hired to read every script.
The 200-year-old office of the lord chamberlain had to check each new play before it was staged in Britain until 1968, when censorship was abolished."
The whole thing was a tragi-comedy," said Dominic Shellard, a professor of English whose book The Lord Chamberlain Regrets ... was published on Wednesday.
Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot was labelled "an interminable verbal labyrinth" by censors, who demanded he replace one "fart" with a "belch". Swear words were swiftly excised.
Read it all here.