British theatre between the two world wars has been a neglected area of interest for contemporary scholars and theatre historians, but a growing body of work in this field has of late begun to challenge the orthodoxies. Much of the new work has focused on the reclamation and repositioning of the work of ‘forgotten’ women playwrights and commercially successful gay playwrights such as Noël Coward and Terence Rattigan. Here, John Deeney examines how the Lord Chamberlain's licensing of Christa Winsloe's lesbian-themed Children in Uniform, and the commercial and critical success of its production at the Duchess Theatre in 1932–33, invites a reassessment of the possibilities open to women playwrights for exploring ‘deviancy’; and how contemporary theoretical positions too frequently ignore the challenge of the historically and culturally specific. John Deeney is Lecturer and Course Director in Theatre Studies at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. He is the editor of Writing Live: an Investigation of the Relationship between Writing and Live Art (New Playwrights Trust, 1998) and a contributor to the forthcoming Women, Theatre and Performance: New Histories/New Historiographies (Manchester University Press) and British Theatre between the Wars (Cambridge University Press).