Breathing life into the books they banned and burned
JW3 and Index on Censorship are pleased to announce Uncensored: A Celebration of Banned Writing, a series of events that will explore censored work across the ages.
07 Mar 18


JW3 and Index on Censorship are pleased to announce “Uncensored: A Celebration of Banned Writing”. This series of events will explore censored work across the ages, launching with a performance of works by authors whose books were banned and burned during the Nazi regime.

In Banned and Burned on March 21 actors will read excerpts from a selection of canonical texts that range of from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to Bambi, books published in the early 20th century which continue to define our world today. The evening, at JW3, will be interspersed with live music deemed degenerate by the Third Reich.

This event is presented in association with Watford Palace Theatre, which is currently producing Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass, directed by Richard Beecham, running from 1-24 March.

The books that will feature in Banned and Burned include:

Bambi – Felix Salten

Concert – Else Lasker-Schüler

Grand Hotel – Vicki Baum

Helen Keller’s Journal

Hoppla, We’re Alive! – Ernst Toller

Men and Women: The World Journey of a Sexologist – Magnus Hirschfeld

The 42nd Parallel – John Dos Passos

The Condition of the Working Class in England – Friedrich Engels

The Immoralist – André Gide

The Rosa Luxemburg Reader

The Threepenny Opera – Bertolt Brecht

Why now?

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Nazi book burnings by Goebbels in  (10th May 1933). It is also the 50th anniversary of the Theatres Act, repealing censorship in British Theatres. Yet censorship persists in a variety of ways worldwide. In an era of endless social media feeds and encroaching government control, the written word creates a new truth and collapses an old one every second.

This series will give voice to silenced words and harness the power of language. It will bring literature to life as a way to counter current and historical censorship and destruction; the antithesis to burning books.

Other events

In May, JW3 are working with Belka Productions and Russian theatre company, Maly Drama Theatre on two events surrounding their production of Vassily’ Grossman’s Life and Fate (considered a 20th century War and Peace) at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (running 8-20 May).

On May 10 there will be readings of banned plays through the ages at Theatre Royal Haymarket

On May 17 at JW3 will be an In-conversation event with renowned Russian theater director, Lev Dodin (leader of Maly Drama Theatre and currently directing ‘Life and Fate’). The evening will also include staged readings from the Life and Fate.

The two events in May will be on sale on March 12th

There will be two more events in the Uncensored series in late 2018. These will be announced in May.

For more information, or to request an interview with the producers of Banned and Burned or with Index on Censorship, please contact [email protected].

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