Saved is a play by Edward Bond which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London in November 1965.
The play itself is set in London during the 1960s. Its subject is the cultural poverty and frustration of a generation of young people on the dole and living on council estates. In response to the censorship of the play, Laurence Olivier wrote a letter to The Observer, saying that: "Saved is not a play for children but it is for grown-ups, and the grown-ups of this country should have the courage to look at it."
Saved was originally refused a licence without severe cuts by the Lord Chamberlain. When it was performed to large private audiences, the Lord Chamberlain decided to prosecute those who were involved in the production of the play. Although the defendants pleaded guilty and were fined, the case reflected badly on the censorship office and was pivotal in the abolition of theatre censorship a few years later in 1968.
The original cast was John Castle, Tony Selby, Richard Butler, Ronald Pickup, Dennis Waterman, John Bull, William Stewart, Barbara Ferris, Lucy Fleming, Gwen Nelson and Alison Fraser. The creative team included: director William Gaskill, design by John Gunter and lighting by Eric Baker.
In February 1969, after the abolition of censorship in the 1968 Theatres Act, Saved was given its first full public run at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The revival cast included: Malcolm Tierney (as Len), Kenneth Cranham (as Fred), Patricia Franklin (as Pam), Queenie Watts (as Mary), Tom Chadbon, Peter Blythe and William Gaskill was the director.
The play is rarely revived, though its theme of social disenfranchisement is seen by Bond as very relevant to the present day. In October 2011, the play was revived in London for the first time in 27 years, at the Lyric Hammersmith, directed by Sean Holmes.