Monday, 22 August 2016

Prick Up Your Ears: Oh Joe

John Lahr’s 1978 biography of the playwright Joe Orton may seem an unlikely choice for a book to give you hope. After all, Orton’s success was not only a long time coming (a decade of abject failure was crowned by a six-month spell in prison for defacing library books), but when it did finally arrive in 1964 (with the West End production of Entertaining Mr Sloane) it lasted only until 9 August 1967. It was brought to a bloody and premature end by his long-term lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who bludgeoned Orton to death with a hammer before taking his own life. Orton was only 34 years old.

Yet, it is these early years of struggle and anonymity that make Orton’s life story such a fascinating and, yes, inspirational read... 

Guardian Books.

Alan Bennett's Prick Up Your Ears (sorry about the Spanish subtitles) is probably Fagburn's favourite 'gay film'.

For a great gay reclamation of Joe, see Simon Shepherd's Because We're Queers.

Oh, did I ever tell you I've been to the flat...

1 comment:

  1. I did the marketing for that movie and we thought London Transport would ban the poster (in the shape of a member and two testicles). However they didn't even notice it. Great film though.