‘My writing reflects my life. If I’d had a different life my writing would be different.’
This intimate view of Joe Orton’s world reveals the complex, challenging and confused life of Orton who survived a damaging childhood, nourished his ambition in amateur drama and went to RADA. There he met Kenneth Halliwell, who became his friend, mentor, lover and… murderer.
Brilliant playwright Orton contributed to an exciting new working class 60’s culture. He was promiscuous and openly gay when homosexuals were actively persecuted. His plays, What the Butler Saw, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and LOOT, were award winning and hugely successful. Orton became one of the funniest, most influential, challenging and controversial 20th Century British playwrights but in August 1967 his career abruptly ended when Kenneth Halliwell, severely depressed, beat Orton to death and took his own life.
Devised and directed by Tom Shkolnik using Orton’s own words and performed by Jamie Baughan
“……superb and utterly engaging from first moment to the last.”
“……what a fantastic performance last night. I’ve studied Orton for many years and to see the words come alive like that was fascinating.”
(Reviews of 2007 Premiere)
This play was specially commissioned and premiered in 2007 in Leicester, where Orton grew up, as part of ‘Ortonesque’, a commemorative festival to Joe Orton 40 years after his death.