September 2010 Guest Editor Belle de Jour on Joe Orton...
I have to admit to being an obsessive fan of Orton’s plays. But the farcical situations are nothing compared to the life he really lived, and if anything, Orton’s Diaries are probably his finest work, absolutely unguarded and uncensored. A true original.
To be young, good-looking, healthy, famous, comparatively rich and happy is surely going against nature. When Joe Orton (1933-1967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than three months later, his longtime companion, Kenneth Halliwell, smashed in Ortons skull with a hammer before killing himself. The Orton Diaries, written during his last eight months, chronicle in a remarkably candid style his outrageously unfettered life: his literary success, capped by an Evening Standard Award and overtures from the Beatles; his sexual escapades at his mother's funeral, with a dwarf in Brighton, and, extensively, in Tangiers; and the breakdown of his sixteen-year marriage to Halliwell, the relationship that transformed and destroyed him. Edited with a superb introduction by John Lahr, The Orton Diaries is his crowning achievement.
Publication date: 01/08/1996
Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc an imprint of The Perseus Books Group
|Publication date:||1st August 1996|
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press Inc an imprint of The Perseus Books Group|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography,|
|Categories:||Biography: general, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literary studies: from c 1900 -,|