Spanking in the Theatre

Click on picture for more information on any play.
Dates quoted are for first performance.

Spanking in the theatre is relatively rare compared to the Cinema. There is an obvious problem that, if an actress is spanked too hard every night, it might show in her acting. If there is a matinée , she might have trouble sitting in the evening performance. Even more so, if it was a nude spanking, she would have a red bottom before the scene even began! (If it was whipping scene, it would have to be completely faked.) However, it did happen and we have some twenty plays here which include a serious spanking. The list is not comprehensive and there are a few, such as My Dear Children from 1945, that could justify an entry.There are also quite a few more where the spanking is obviously contrived and played for laughs, (such as the one on the left) which we have omitted. The spankings range from authorship in the 16th Century to perfomances in 2020. In the current woke world, it is unlikely that a director would include a spanking in a play, but common sense might return some day.

A more comprehensive list of stage plays that include (or used to include) a spanking is given on the
MainstreamSpanking website.
   
Le Médecins Malgré Lui 1665
Originally scripted in 1665, we are not aware of any play written before this with a spanking scene. Le Médecin malgré lui (The doctor/physician in spite of himself) is a farce by Molière first performed in 1666 (published as a manuscript in early 1667) at le Théâtre du Palais-Royal by la Troupe du Roi. The picture is the most recent we could find. It is a performance in 2014 by Teatr Mist from Poland. In the scene, Wojciech Michno is chastising Aneta Stachyra with a switch.  more...
 
The Beggar's Opera  1728
Richard Angas spanks Lilian Watson as Polly Peachum in the 1972  production at the Globe theatre, London. This is what used to be called a ballard opera and was written by John Gay in 1728. The spankings more often than not were applied with gusto, but by the 1980s they tended to be dropped. Cutting is relatively easy in the play as she gets a good bollocking from her father before it and it is simple to end the scene at that point. more...
 
Bloomers  1911

Its original title in German was Der Riese (The Giant), by the author, Carl Sternheim (1878-1942). It was renamed The Bloomers on translation. The still on the left is from a 2010 production. more...

 
Full House  1935

First performed in August 1935, April (Heather Thatcher) takes Lola (Isabel Jeans) by the shoulders and shakes her. Then Lola suddenly reverses the situation by putting April in a half Nelson and bends her down. Then she drags April across her knees, and smacks her very hard indeed. more...

 
Happy Days 1937

Left: 2013 Swedish production. Wilfred Massey's three-act farce Happy Days concerns Reggie Blougham (pronounced Bloom) and his fiancée Leslie Royston, As all fiancées should be, she is young, very pretty and very charmingly dressed. The third character in the triangle is Ruth Eltringham, who is 'three years younger than Leslie, equally pretty, but in a fluffy, irresponsible way'. Unsurprisingly, Ruth's rear end eventually gets well smacked. more...

 
Act Your Age 1943
The farceAct Your Age, was written in 1943 by the Minnesota playwright William Davidson (1897-1982). This seems one of the earliest examples of a strange American phenomenon. A play written for and mainly performed by US High Schools, with perhaps a smattering of performances by local and church amateur dramatic groups. Like Streetcars and Mind of Her Own, this type of play proved exceptionally popular in the USA up to the early 1970s. more...
 
A Mind of Her Own  1943
The fate of Bunny Bartlett, the heroine of Anne Ferring Weatherly’s comedy A Mind of Her Own (1943) was typical of out of control young ladies. The play was popular in high school productions for ten years or so before virtually vanishing without trace. She spends much of the play imitating other people’s opinions and behaviour rather than thinking for herself. This causes her family endless troubles, which explains, then justifies, what her boyfriend Steve Henderson eventually does.  He pulls her across his knee and lays a board across her bottom, hard! A significant minority of productions, however, rejected such severity and opted for the hand instead! more...
 
Janika 1946
Janika opened at the Magyar Theater, Budapest, on 23 October 1946, with Ida Turay in the role of Gizi Polgar. The author of Janika was Hungarian playwright Istvan Bekeffi (1901-77), who was married to Ida Turay. The script called for her to be soundly spanked at the climax of each performance!  Another one of those post-war, cheer up the masses plays, and made into a film in 1949, again with Ida Turay as Gizi. There seem to be no stills from the original play, but the picture shows Ida Turay in the same position in the film three years later. more...
 
Springtime for Patsy  1948
Springtime for Patsy: A comedy in three acts - Jan 1948 by Harold J Gregory (Author). The question in this play is how many spankings the aweful Patsy should receive. It is only the defensive boyfriend that stops Patsy receiving a second good hiding. The play was not a great success althought there were a few high school productions in the 1950s and 1960s. more...
 
Kiss Me Kate  1948
On the left/above, we have Alfred Drake spanking Patricia Morrison in the original Broadway production in 1948. This spurned the world-famous 1953 film of the same name. It also has lead to an extraordinary number of high school and repertory productions, especially in the USA and the UK (There were 24 repertory performances in 2004 in the UK alone.) more...
 
Men are like Streetcars  1950

Based on 1932 novel by Graeme & Sarah Lorimer. "One reviewer commented: Very sweet and funny vintage book written from the point of view of a clever, sassy, boy-crazy 16-year-old sub-deb with a strong sense of self-worth." As far as we can tell, this play has only ever been produced in American high schools. Throughout the 1950s, 60s & 70s, teenage American girls in large numbers were spanked on stage in this play, but no professional actress! more...

 
Friendly Relations  1952
Friendly Relations was a stage comedy written by James Liggat (1920-81). It starred husband and wife team, Patricia Dainton (as Anne Watson) and Barry Sinclair (as Michael Barry) at the London opening. [Posed still of them pictured left/above]. Probably not a serious scene as script requires it to start as the curtain begins to fall. more...

The Little Hut 1953
Roland Culver spanks Anne Vernon in the Little Hut on 7th October 1953. Originally a French farce, The Little Hut tells the story of what is essentially husband swapping when Susan is shipwrecked on a desert island with her husband, Philip, and his best friend Henry. He just happens to be her long-term lover. The two men solve the obvious problem by sleeping with her during alternate weeks and, on their “off” weeks, sleeping alone in the Little Hut. A very advanced theme for its day. more...

La Fille Mal Gardée  1960
Angelina Vorontsova being spanked (St Petersburg 2014) in one of the few credible spanking scenes performed during this opera (Left). The ballet was originally premiered in July 1789 at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in France. It was reworked in 1960 by Sir Frederick Ashton, when the spanking scene was added. Since then, the Ashton version has been put on all around the world. more....
 
Verteufelte Zeiten  1968
Post-War Germany: these are Verteufelte Zeiten or devilish times, which is the title of this 1947 comedy by Karl Bunje (1897-1985). 42 year old Gisela Wessel (Helga, the defiant daughter) is spanked by Ernst Grabbe (the returning soldier from World War II) at the Ohnsorg-Theatre in Hamburg in 1968. The production was filmed and shown on West German television. more...
 
The Ride across Lake Constance  1971
The first production, which opened on 21st January 1971, was at the Theatre am Halleschen Ufer, Berlin. The British premiere was at the Hampstead Theatre  Club in London in November 1973. Nicola Padgett received a pretty hard cropping from Nigel Hawthorne. However, she seemed so well padded that she hardly felt the strokes. But by any standards it was a delightful scene.

Nicola Padgett was hot foot from the then TV success,
Upstairs, Downstairs, where she stormed out because she was not cast in the never-shot film of the TV production. Spoilt brat on and off-screen, one might think. more...
 
Molly  1977

In this Simon Gray (1936-2008) play, "Teddy" spanks "Molly" twice, once in each act. Back then, the spanking theme played well to the newspaper critics. It originally premiered in America on 26 May 1977 at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, with Michael Higgins as Teddy and Christina Pickles as Molly. It opened at the Comedy Theatre in London (still above left) the following year with Irish Shakespearian actor T P McKenna as Teddy and Billie Whitelaw (1932-2014) as Mollie. more...

 
Verteufelte Zeiten  1982
Verteufelte Zeiten [Devilish times] is the title of this 1947 comedy by Karl Bunje (1897-1985). We do not normally include a play twice in this listing. Nevertheless, this and the 1968 production were both filmed for television. Thus, with German efficiency, both spankings were recorded in full and a comparison between the two spankings is possible. The 1984 version is less prudish, especially she has less padding under her skirt. In this still, Herma Koehn is spanked by Klaus Granzow, again at the Ohnsorg Theatre, Hamburg, recorded for the German TV channel, NDR. more...
 
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea  1984
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is a rather strange 1984 play, written by John Patrick Shanley. Left is a still from the 2009 Etcetera Theatre Group production (London) with Danielle Dryer as the oft spanked Roberta. It is essentially a rather hysterical, self-righteous play about guilt originating in one's childhood. Roberta carries a heavy psychological weight from a dirty little secret from her childhood, and Danny decides to spank it out of her! more....
 
The Power of Theatrical Madness  1984
Original title: De macht der theaterlijke dwaasheden. This is an avant-garde stage play by the Belgian choreographer Jan Fabre, first performed on the Venice Biennale in 1984. It is 4.5 hours long and features a lot of nudity on stage, including a scene in which a man is seated in the middle of the stage and is hand-spanking a fully naked woman (M/F) in the classic OTK position. more....
 
Lulu    London 2002
Lulu was Alban Berg’s second opera. He worked on it between 1929 and 1935, but unfortunately never completed the work by the time of his death in 1935. It was “completed” over 40 years later in 1979. Normally, Lulu is threatened with a spanking and is chased but escapes. However, in the 2002 version in London, Lulu, played by Lisa Saffer, is actually caught and receives receives a symbolic spanking. more....
 

Der Wildschütz or the Force of Nature      New York  2002

Der Wildschütz (The Poacher) oder Die Stimme der Natur is a German Komische Oper, or comic opera, in three acts by Albert Lortzing. As with Lulu, an opera that normally does not have a spanking suddenly produces one. Much of the opera is about the scheming between Nanette and Gretchen. Suddenly, out of no-where, the production by the Manhattan School of Music in 2002, with Nicole Warner as Nanette and Jung-a Lee as Gretchen, has Nanette spanking Gretchen! I suppose that it is imaginative. Click to see the handbill issued by the producers. Did someone say, Spanking Sells? more....
 
Postřižiny (Cutting it Short)  2004
The successful 1981 film Postřižiny, directed by Jiří Menzel (1938-2020), based on the 1976 novel of the same name by the writer Bohumil Hrabal, lead unusually to a play of the same name in 2004. (Usually, plays lead to films.) A Czech play by origin, it has been translated into Hungarian. Thus we have here in the picture (left) Tamas Szabo Kimmel spanking Csilla Radnay in a Hungarian production from 2011. more....
 
Ptakovina     2009 Czech
Another Czech spanking. The previous entry, Postřižiny, is excellent, while this can only be described as absurd. Jaromir Dulava canes Lucie Zackova (31) while bending over the ballustrade of a balcony. Essentially, all we see are her facial expressions. The play was recorded for television so we have the whole scene. The play is described as a comedy, but we found little to laugh about. more...
 
Permission  2015
We end on what should have been a promising play. After three weeks of previews, Permission closed after three weeks of performances on 14th June 2015. Staged at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York, its rapid demise was variously ascribed to the lack of interest from New York audiences in religion or the theme of the play, Spanking. This is all a great pity as it could have been a mecca for spanking enthusiasts. Instead, it has effectively been rendered part of history as we have not been able to find any further performances. more...
 

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