|Long title||An Act for regulating Theatres.|
|Citation||6 & 7 Vict. c. 68|
|Territorial extent||Great Britain|
|Royal assent||22 August 1843|
|Repealed||26 September 1968|
|Amends||Plays and Wine Licences Act 1736|
|Repealed by||Theatres Act 1968|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
The Theatres Act 1843 (6 & 7 Vict. c. 68) (also known as the Theatre Regulation Act) is a defunct Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It amended the regime established under the Licensing Act 1737 for the licensing of the theatre in Great Britain, implementing the proposals made by a select committee of the House of Commons in 1832.
Under the Licensing Act 1737, the Lord Chamberlain was granted the ability to vet the performance of any new plays: he could prevent any new play, or any modification to an existing play, from being performed for any reason, and was not required to justify his decision. New plays were required to be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain for a licence before they could be performed, and theatre owners could be prosecuted for staging a play (or part of a play) that had not received prior approval. A licence, once granted, could be also withdrawn. The Licensing Act 1737 also limited spoken drama to the patent theatres, originally only the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in London. The regime was relaxed slightly by the Theatrical Representations Act 1788, under which local magistrates were permitted to license occasional performances for periods of up to 60 days.
The Theatres Act 1843 restricted the powers of the Lord Chamberlain, so that he could only prohibit the performance of plays where he was of the opinion that "it is fitting for the preservation of good manners, decorum or of the public peace so to do". It also gave additional powers to local authorities to license theatres, breaking the monopoly of the patent theatres and encouraging the development of popular theatrical entertainments, such as saloon theatres attached to public houses and music halls.
The regime established by the 1843 Act was considered by a select committee of the House of Commons in 1866, and two parliamentary joint select committees, in 1909 and then in 1966, and various reforms were proposed, but no changes were implemented until the Act was finally repealed by the Theatres Act 1968.
The Act in general was restricted to Great Britain, and more specifically to the vicinities of London, Oxbridge, and royal residences.  When George Bernard Shaw's 1909 play The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet was refused a licence by the Lord Chamberlain, it was staged in Liverpool and Dublin by the Abbey Theatre players.  
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The Licensing Act 1737 is a defunct Act of Parliament in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and a pivotal moment in British theatrical history. Its purpose was to control and censor what was being said about the British government through theatre. The act was modified by the Theatres Act 1843 and was finally named as the Theatres Act 1968. The Lord Chamberlain was the official censor and the office of Examiner of Plays was created under the Act. The Examiner assisted the Lord Chamberlain in the task of censoring all plays from 1737 to 1968. The Examiner read all plays which were to be publicly performed, produced a synopsis and recommended them for licence, consulting the Lord Chamberlain in cases of doubt. The act also created a legal distinction between categories of "legitimate theatre" and "illegitimate theatre".
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The Theatres Act 1968 abolished stage censorship in the United Kingdom, receiving royal assent on 26 July 1968, after passing both Houses of Parliament.
The patent theatres were the theatres that were licensed to perform "spoken drama" after the Restoration of Charles II as King of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1660. Other theatres were prohibited from performing such "serious" drama, but were permitted to show comedy, pantomime or melodrama. Drama was also interspersed with singing or dancing, to prevent the whole being too serious or dramatic.
Fallen Angels is a comedy by the English playwright Noël Coward. It opened at the Globe Theatre, London on 21 April 1925 and ran until 29 August. The central theme of two wives admitting to premarital sex and contemplating adultery met hostility from the office of the official theatre censor, the Lord Chamberlain, and the necessary licence was granted only after the personal intervention of the Chamberlain.
The Historical Register for the Year 1736 is a 1737 play by Henry Fielding. A denunciation of contemporary society and politics, most notably prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, it was performed for the first time in April 1737 and published shortly thereafter by J. Roberts in London according to the book's title page.
The Lord Chamberlain's requirements were a set of four prerequisites for a licence for a production in British theatres. These were printed in theatre programmes so the audience could be aware of them. The Lord Chamberlain's Office had control of theatres until 1968, including censorship of the production content as well as for logistical matters. In the 1980s, they were replaced by similar requirements applied by a local licensing authority.
Legitimate theatre is live performance that relies almost entirely on diegetic elements, with actors performing through speech and natural movement. Traditionally, performances of such theatre were termed legitimate drama, while the abbreviation the legitimate refers to legitimate theatre or drama and legit is a noun referring both to such dramas and actors in these dramas. Legitimate theatre and dramas are contrasted with other types of stage performance such as musical theatre, farce, revue, melodrama, burlesque and vaudeville, as well as recorded performances on film and television.
The Happy Land is a play with music written in 1873 by W. S. Gilbert and Gilbert Arthur à Beckett. The musical play burlesques Gilbert's earlier play, The Wicked World. The blank verse piece opened at the Royal Court Theatre on 3 March 1873 and enjoyed a highly successful run, soon touring, and then being immediately revived at the same theatre in the autumn of 1873.
St. John Emile Clavering Hankin was an English Edwardian essayist and playwright. Along with George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, and Harley Granville-Barker, he was a major exponent of Edwardian "New Drama". Despite success as a playwright he died by his own hand, and his work was largely neglected until the 1990s.
Theatre of United Kingdom plays an important part in British culture, and the countries that constitute the UK have had a vibrant tradition of theatre since the Renaissance with roots going back to the Roman occupation.
The Independent Theatre Society was a by-subscription-only organisation in London from 1891 to 1897, founded by Dutch drama critic Jacob Grein to give "special performances of plays which have a literary and artistic rather than a commercial value." The society was inspired by its continental forerunners, the Théâtre-Libre and Die Freie Bühne. The Society produced modern realist plays, mostly by continental European playwrights, on the London stage.
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