WILLIAMS, TENNESSEE. 1911-1983. Tennessee Williams's Evening Standard Drama Award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

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Lot 139
WILLIAMS, TENNESSEE. 1911-1983.
Tennessee Williams's Evening Standard Drama Award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Sold for US$ 3,187 inc. premium
WILLIAMS, TENNESSEE. 1911-1983.
Tennessee Williams's Evening Standard Drama Award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Bronze figure, signed by sculptor Frank Dobson, mounted on a marble base, plaque inscribed "EVENING STANDARD/ DRAMA AWARD 1958/ TENNESSEE WILLIAMS/ CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF," 14 inches high.
Provenance: The estate of Lee Hoiby.

When Cat on a Hot Tin Roof made its London debut in 1958, it had already been hailed as a hit on Broadway. The Lord Chamberlain issued 34 changes to be made for its license, including removing all offensive language, but more importantly removing whole pages of the script which made reference to Brick's homosexuality, a central theme of the play. Williams, having already suffered censorship of the play at the hands of American stage director Elia Kazan who made wholesale changes to the 3rd act, refused. Lord Chamberlain banned the play from public performance, but not could not control private club performances, so when the Peter Hall directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened in London in 1958 it opened "privately" at The New Watergate Club at The Comedy Theatre in January 1958. The New Watergate Club had opened the previous year with the express intention of staging plays without censorship. By the time the play premiered, the club boasted 64,000 members, now undermining the authority of the censor's office. Moreover, the Lord Chamberlain faced a press campaign and controversy for the banning of homosexual content, in some regards marking the beginning of the end of the role of Lord Chamberlain in censoring British theater begun in 1737.
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