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This is a comprehensive study of the impact of censorship on theatre in twentieth-century Spain. It draws on extensive archival evidence, vivid personal testimonies and in-depth analysis of legislation to document the different kinds of theatre censorship practised during the Second Republic (1931–6), the civil war (1936–9), the Franco dictatorship (1939–75) and the transition to democracy (1975–85). Changes in criteria, administrative structures and personnel from these periods are traced in relation to wider political, social and cultural developments, and the responses of playwrights, directors and companies are explored. With a focus on censorship, new light is cast on particular theatremakers and their work, the conditions in which all kinds of theatre were produced, the construction of genres and canons, as well as on broader cultural history and changing ideological climate – all of which are linked to reflections on the nature of censorship and the relationship between culture and the state.