Writers: Kenneth Tynan, et al.
Τitle: Oh! Calcutta!
Subtitle: An Entertainment with Music
Edition: First Printing
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Grove Press, Inc.
Year of Publication: 1969
Illustrations: 66 black and white plates and pictures by Friedman-Abeles
Jacket Painting:“Oh! Calcutta!” by Clovis Trouille
Binding: Cloth boards in colour dust jacket
Entry No.: 2009074
Entry Date: 15th January 2009
“Some time ago,” said the British drama critic and literary manager of the National Theatre, Kenneth Tynan, in an article in the Village Voice, “it occurred to me that there was no place for a civilized man to take a civilized woman to spend an evening of civilized erotic stimulation. At one end, there’s burlesque, at the other, an expensive night club, but no place in between. We’re trying to fill that gap with this show.”
His method of filling it was to ask a number of distinguished authors on both sides of the Atlantic if they would care to contribute forthright pieces of a frankly erotic nature. The authors responded with what Mr. Tynan referred to half-seriously as “embarrassing enthusiasm.” The result was a group of sketches which deal with almost every conceivable erotic fantasy and sexual reality that Western man had dreamt up or experienced. The distinguished roster of authors includes Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien, Jules Feiffer, Leonard Melfi, John Lennon, and, not to be outdone, Kenneth Tynan himself.
The title of this revue, which opened in June in New York, after two months of sold-out previews, is taken from the title of a painting by the French Surrealist painter Clovis Trouille. Its meaning, which is at least intimated by the front cover reproduction of the painting, contains a phonetic French pun: “Oh! Quelle ‒ ‒ ‒ t’as!” Or freely translated: “Oh! What a lovely ‒ ‒ ‒ you have!”