Too programmatic an opposition to censorship fails to account for the nuanced justifications and popular support that underwrite some of the world's most refined censorship regimes. In this article, I argue that in order to do so, we need to place freedom, repression, regulation, expression and productivity in a more dynamic relationship than conventional critics of censorship are generally willing to entertain. By way of example, I examine theatre censorship in Singapore. The South East Asian city state inherited draconian colonial-era censorship regulations from the British, which it variously amends, rescinds and refines on a regular basis through a combination of negotiation, government review and, increasingly, public participation. I explore several examples, including an all-male production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), which triggered a range of local and international responses, thereby exemplifying the complex historical, political and aesthetic dynamics of censorship in a highly globalized environment.