Anthony Neilson / Anne Simon
A female pornographer comes face to face with a censor – the man whose job is to determine whether her work can see the light of day. She needs to convince him to see beyond the graphic images if it’s ever going to stand a chance of being released.
But the war she’s fighting is about far more than just a movie. She dreams of a day when films like hers can be shown in every multiplex in the land, to every man, woman, and child. When that day comes, there’ll be no more repression, no more witch-hunts.
In Simon’s interpretation, the porn film, and the censoring thereof, stand in for the mechanisms at work to silence women – or any other minority. The Censor becomes a parable for those century-old systems and narratives that maintain the Western patriarchal power structures in place. Rather than trying to reproduce the controversy the play sparked when first staged in 1997 over the now possibly less shocking explicitness of some scenes, Simon explores gender roles themselves and confronts the audience with how far their own gender biases and tropes influence the reading of a situation.