WHAT THE WORLD WAS SAYING ABOUT OH! CALCUTTA!

1969 – 1970

With its adult content and full frontal nudity, Oh Calcutta! was a newspaper editor’s dream. Here we capture some of the column inches devoted to the production…

'Nudest Show On Earth Heads for Long West End Run' Article from unknown newspaper including reviews from stars of the day Barbara Windsor, Lula and Peter Wyngarde

Credit: Archives © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

'Mary raps arts and no censorship ruling' in the Express and Star. 30 April 1971.

Mary Whitehouse named 'O Calcutta' as a prime example of a performance piece that she believed Arts Council were responsible to censor as part of her wider campaign around censorship.

Credit: Archives © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Cartoon in the Times Educational Supplement, 27 June 1969. The cartoon references the fact that the Roundhouse production attracted the attention of the Metropolitan Police's Obscene Publications Squad, which sent two officers to a preview of the show.

Credit: Archives © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Photo from unknown UK newspaper.

Credit: Archives © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Review of Oh Calcutta! in the The Stage 30 July 1970. In comparison to other sensationalist headlines this review claimed "'Oh! Calcutta!' breaks no new ground. We have had naked dancing boys and girls in 'Hair'. Joe Orton has been and gone".

Credit: Archives © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

By Emily Kerr (Roundhouse Employee and Graphic Designer)

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