Mrs. Warren's Profession

Performance history

The play was originally banned by the Lord Chamberlain (Britain's official theatre censor) because of its frank discussion of prostitution, but was finally performed on Sunday, 5 January 1902, at London's New Lyric Club with the distinguished actor-manager Harley Granville-Barker as Frank, Fanny Brough as Mrs. Warren, George Goodhart as Sir George Crofts, Julius Knight as Praed, Madge McIntosh as Vivie and Cosmo Stuart as Rev. Samuel Gardner.[4] Members-only clubs had been a device to avoid the eye of authority, but actors often also used the opportunity to invite their fellow-artists to a private showing of a play, usually on Sundays, when theatres were closed to the public. The first public performance in London took place in 1925.

A 1905 performance in New York, this time on a public stage, was interrupted by the police, who arrested the cast and crew for violating New York City's version of the Comstock laws.[5] It was later held not to be in violation of the law,[6] and has been revived on Broadway five times since. It was recently performed by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2012, and was so popular that the season was extended.


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