Joe Orton's Loot: 50 Years On

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Joe Orton's hit play

An Evening with Kenneth Cranham

Joe Orton's Loot: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Joe Orton's Loot: From Failure to Fortune

Loot 50th

Joe Orton


An Evening with Kenneth Cranham

Saturday 24 September, 2016, 7.00pm

Curve Theatre, Leicester

Kenneth CranhamJoin Kenneth Cranham, winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Actor, as he looks back on more than 50 years in theatre, shares memories of his unique relationship with Leicester-born playwright Joe Orton, and discusses his favourite leading roles from Hal in Orton’s Loot (1966) to André in Florian Zeller’s The Father (2015-16), winner of three Moliere awards, including Best Play. This event, chaired by Emma Parker and featuring Orton’s sister, Leonie Orton Barnett, is organised in conjunction with the University of Leicester to mark the 50th anniversary of the London premiere of Loot.

Introduced and Chaired by Dr Emma Parker. Tickets £7, contact the Curve Theatre to book. 


Joe Orton's Loot: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday 25 September 2016, 11.30am-4.30pm

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester

Tickets are free, but booking is essential. Please call 0116 225 4900


LootJoe Orton (1933-1967) was one of the most original and important playwrights of the post-war period. As Orton was born in Leicester and the University holds the Joe Orton Archive, the School of Arts is hosting a special event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his awarding-winning play, Loot.

A black comedy that features a coffin, a glass eye, a set of dentures and the dubious use of Mars Bars, Loot satirises religion, police corruption and sexual mores. The play premiered in 1965 but flopped. However, following extensive revisions, it was relaunched in 1966 and went on to win the prestigious Evening Standard 'Play of the Year' award.

Hosted by Dr Emma Parker, this unique day event features a series of talks and readings by Orton's friends, fans, and family. Director Braham Murray will discuss helping Orton rewrite the play; actor Michael Elwyn will recall his role as Hal in Braham Murray's 1966 production of Loot; novelist Jake Arnott will explore the real life policeman who inspired Truscott; Leonie Orton Barnett will read from private letters that reveal the playwright's frustrations with the play, his final triumph, and hilarious response to complaints from conservative theatregoers.

The talks will be complemented by an exhibition about Loot that features rarely-seen material from the Joe Orton archive at the University of Leicester.


Joe Orton's Loot: From Failure to Fortune

24 September - 30 October 2016

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester

To mark the 50th anniversary of the London premiere of the Leicester-born playwright's ground-breaking play Loot, a small display of material from the Orton Archive at the University of Leicester. Entry Free.

Read Dr Samantha Mitschke's blog about preparing the exhibition.

This exhibition has been generously supported by an AHRC Cultural Engagement Award.


Further information on our Joe Orton: 50 Years On Project

Information on our 50th anniversary celebration of Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane 


Useful Resources

Joe Orton Online

Joe Orton: 1964 in Pictures 

An interview with the actor Kenneth Cranham

An interview with the actor Dudley Sutton

An interview with director Nick Bagnall

An interview with novelist Jake Arnott

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