Unveiling of 'Ortonesque' pot during Literary Leicester festival

Posted by ap507 at Nov 17, 2014 05:10 PM |
University's Orton Archive acquires ceramic pot complete with false teeth handles
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Unveiling of 'Ortonesque' pot during Literary Leicester festival

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As part of Literary Leicester and continuing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Leicester-born writer Joe Orton’s first stage play, Entertaining Mr Sloane, his sister Leonie Orton Barnett unveiled a pot specially commissioned for the David Wilson Library from local ceramicist Rachel Barnett, Orton’s niece, on 14 November at 1.30pm in the Special Collections Reading Room, David Wilson Library.

The pot reflects Entertaining Mr Sloane’s central themes and features quotations from the characters. Its ‘Ortonesque’ style mirrors the author’s trademark combination of humour and horror. For example, the handles consist of a set of false teeth.

Dr Emma Parker of the School of English, who produced a 50th anniversary edition of Entertaining Mr Sloane earlier this year, said: “This wonderful pot not only commemorates the play but will ignite new interest in Orton’s work and entice people into the Orton archive.

“Come along and be the first to see the latest addition to the library’s growing collection of contemporary art and celebrate the play that launched Orton’s career.”

A number of videos relating to the 50th edition of Entertaining Mr Sloane can be found on the University's YouTube page. Podcasts, including those where Orton's sister Leonie Orton Barnett shares her memories of her brother are available on the University's Soundcloud page.

The Orton archive, which was purchased from the Orton Estate in 1997, includes manuscripts, letters and other original material written, compiled or collected by the Leicester born John Kingsley (Joe) Orton (1933-1967), plus correspondence and memorabilia received and collected by members of the Orton family.

The event took place as part of the University’s Literary Leicester Festival between 12-15 November and celebrates the city’s literary legacy.

Watch a video of actor Kenneth Cranham, who played Sloane in the 1975 version of the play, discussing his experience below:

Listen to a podcast of Joe Orton’s sister Leonie Orton Barnett sharing some of her memories of her brother below:

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