• This essay explores the covert censorship of Shakespeare production nudity by Western and Eastern theater and television companies. Using Ian McKellen’s 2007 RSC King Lear as its case study, the essay considers the economic and political pressures brought to bear on the RSC by those seeking to prevent the perceived corruption of young people, and the resulting compliance of the play’s producing company, which appeared concerned less with its aesthetic or creative freedom, and more with loss of revenue. This essay argues that, rather than political or religious sensitivities, the educationally-driven marketplace now represents the principal threat to freedom of theatrical expression, with theater creatives choosing to adapt their productions for purely economic, rather than ideologically or culturally sensitive reasons.