Joe Orton: 50 Years On

New: Joe Orton Competition for Sixth Form, FE and university students.

Joe Orton

Joe Orton (1933-1967) was a Leicester-born playwright whose life and work helped to define 1960s British culture. Known for his anarchic black comedies and sexually frank diary, Orton is a major postwar dramatist and a gay icon.

This project marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Orton’s three major plays:

  • Entertaining Mr Sloane (2014)
  • Loot (2016)
  • What the Butler Saw (2019).

The project also commemorates the 50th anniversary of his death in 2017.

Through a series of exhibitions, productions, screenings, talks, and publications that pay particular attention to issues of class and sexuality, the project seeks to celebrate Orton’s achievements, to consider previously overlooked aspects of his work, and to recognise his cultural impact and legacy.

Project partners

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Curve theatre, Leicester
  • Leicester Arts and Museums Service
  • National Justice Museum, Nottingham
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, London

Events

Event titleLocationDate
Entertaining Mr Sloane: A 50th Anniversary Celebration University of Leicester Wednesday 29 June 2014

An Evening with Kenneth Cranham

Introduced and Chaired by Dr Emma Parker. Tickets £7

Curve Theatre, Leicester

 

 

Saturday 24 September 2016

Joe Orton's Loot: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

A day of talks by Orton's friends, family and fans

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester

 

Sunday 25 September 2016

Joe Orton's Loot: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

An exhibition of material from the Joe Orton Archive, University of Leicester

Curator: Dr Samantha Mitschke, AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow, University of Leicester

FREE

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester

24 September – 30 October 2016

Joe Orton and 'Shoxbear' with Dr Emma Parker

A free lecture about Orton's relationship to Shakespeare

FREE

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

Wednesday 16 November 2016

(1.00pm-2.00pm)

Leonie Orton: I Had It in Me

Join Leonie Orton to discuss her newly published memoir I Had it In Me.

Chaired by Dr Emma Parker

FREE

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

Wednesday 16 November 2016

(2.00pm-3.00pm)

What the Artist Saw: New Art Inspired by the Life and Work of Joe Orton Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), London 5 February – 4 March 2017

Crimes of Passion: The Story of Joe Orton

An exhibition co-curated by Bev Baker and Emma Parker

National Justice Museum, Nottingham 22 July – 1 October 2017
What the Artist Saw: New Art Inspired by the Life and Work of Joe Orton New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester 29 July – 22 October 2017

Joe Orton: 50 Years On, A Symposium

University of Leicester Wednesday 9 August 2017

Further listings to follow.

Useful Resources

Joe Orton Online

Joe Orton: 1964 in Pictures

An interview with actor Michael Elwyn

An interview with director Braham Murray

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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