Joe Orton in 1964

New exhibition about one of Leicester's most famous literary sons

Entertaining Mr Sloane Scrapbook
Page from scrapbook of programmes and reviews of Entertaining Mr Sloane, compiled by Joe Orton.
Born in Leicester in 1933, Joe Orton grew up on the Saffron Lane council estate.  He became one of the most notorious authors of the 1960s, known both for his savagely satirical and scandalous black comedies and for his unconventional lifestyle.

1964 was a year of rich creativity for Orton.  In May, Entertaining Mr Sloane began its successful run in the West End.   In June, Orton finished writing The Good and Faithful Servant.  The Ruffian on the Stair was aired on the BBC Third Programme in August. Between June and October, he wrote Loot.  By the end of the year, he had become a successful playwright, his work praised by many of the critics and by his peers.  This exhibition uses correspondence, scripts, press cuttings and photographs from the archive to illustrate his rapid rise to fame.

The Joe Orton Archive was purchased by the University in 1997 and can be viewed by appointment in the Special Collections reading room.

A day of special events to mark the 50th anniversary of Entertaining Mr Sloane will be held at the University on 29 June 2014. See the School of English website for more information.

The exhibition runs from 2 May until 29 August 2014 in the basement of the David Wilson Library. Entry to the Library is free but security controlled. Ask for admission to the Special Collections exhibition at reception.

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