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HAIR – Original 1968 London Shaftsbury Theatre Poster

A rare first printing psychedelic theatre poster for the original London production of HAIR.  Hair opened in London on September 27 1968, one day after the abolition of theatre censorship in Great Britian.  A BBC report from opening day noted “Until yesterday, some of the scenes in the musical, written by out-of-work actors Gerome Ragni and James Rado, would have been considered too outrageous to be shown on a stage in Britain.  The show, billed as an American tribal love-rock musical, first opened in New York on 2 December last year.  Many were angered by scenes containing nudity and drug-taking as well as a strong anti-war message at the height of the Vietnam conflict and the desecration of the American flag on stage.  The show’s transfer to London’s West End would not have been possible before the new Theatres Act which ended the Lord Chamberlain’s powers of censorship dating back to 1737.”

Hair played at the Shaftsbury for over 5 years, and was about to celebrate its record-breaking 2000th performance when part of the ceiling fell in on 20 July 1973, forcing the closure of the long-running musical, after 1,998 performances.

This poster measures 12 1/2″ x 20″ and is in excellent unfaded condition, with only some minor handling and two tiny pinholes in the top corners.  It will frame beautifully.  An exceptional design classic.

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