Joe Orton

(3022 words)
  • Kate Dorney (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Joe Orton was born John Kingsley Orton in Leicester 1933. A gifted farceur and black humourist, Orton's major works are Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), Loot (1966) and the posthumously produced What the Butler Saw (1969). His style mixed the comic business of farce with an incisive portrait of a society in transition amidst the social and sexual liberation of the 1960s and the linguistic anarchy unleashed by the burgeoning influence of the mass media. Terence Rattigan, amongst Orton's early admirers and champions, observed that: “What Orton had to say about England and society had never been said before. The first thing it showed was a society diminished by telly-technology. Everybody expresses themselves …

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Dorney, Kate. "Joe Orton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2005
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature