From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
From 1737 until 1968 the Lord Chamberlain also had the role of licensor of plays in the City of London, Westminster, and certain other areas.(See the Lord Chamberlain's requirements). This role made the Lord Chamberlain effectively the official censor of theatrical performances, although the responsibility was in practice delegated to the Lord Chamberlain's Office.
This duty was abolished under the Theatres Act 1968. One of the catalysts for this change in the law was the prosecution in 1965 of Edward Bond's play Saved, staged at the Royal Court Theatre under 'club' auspices. The first performance of the musical Hair was delayed until the office's censorship function was abolished.
List of Comptrollers
- Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane GCB ISO (1857–1901)
- Major-General Sir Arthur Ellis, GCVO MC (1901–1907)
- Brigadier-General Sir Douglas Dawson, GCVO KCB CMG (1907–1920)
- Colonel Honourable Sir George Crichton, GCVO DL (1920–1936)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Terence Nugent, GCVO MC (1936–1960)
- Brigadier Sir Norman Gwatkin, GCVO DSO (1960–1964)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Eric Penn, GCVO OBE MC (1964–1981)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnston, GCVO MC (1981–1987)
- Lieutenant-Colonel George Alston-Roberts-West, CVO DL (1987–1990)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Malcolm Ross, GCVO OBE (1991–2005)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Ford (2006–)