Orton, Joe


Orton, Joe
orig. John Kingsley Orton

born Jan. 1, 1933, Leicester, Leicestershire, Eng.
died Aug. 9, 1967, London

British dramatist.

Originally an unsuccessful actor, he turned to writing, finding success in 1964 when his radio play The Ruffian on the Stair was broadcast by the BBC. His three full-length plays, Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1964), Loot (1965), and What the Butler Saw (produced posthumously, 1969), were black comedies that scandalized audiences with their examination of moral corruption, violence, and sexual rapacity. Orton's career was cut short when he was murdered by K.L. Halliwell, his lifelong companion, who afterward committed suicide.

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▪ British writer
byname of  John Kingsley Orton 
born Jan. 1, 1933, Leicester, Leicestershire, Eng.
died Aug. 9, 1967, London
 British playwright noted for his outrageous and macabre farces.

      Orton was originally an unsuccessful actor. He turned to writing in the late 1950s under the encouragement of his lifelong companion, K.L. Halliwell. A handful of novels the pair wrote at this time were not published, however, and it was not until 1964 that Orton had his first success, when his radio play The Ruffian on the Stair was broadcast by the BBC. From then until his death in 1967 Orton had a brilliant success as a playwright. His three full-length plays, Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1964), Loot (1965), and What the Butler Saw (produced posthumously, 1969), were outrageous and unconventional black comedies that scandalized audiences with their examination of moral corruption, violence, and sexual rapacity. Orton's writing was marked by epigrammatic wit and an incongruous polish, his characters reacting with comic propriety to the scandalous and disturbing situations in which they found themselves involved. He also wrote four one-act plays during these years, including Funeral Games (1968).

      Orton's career was cut tragically short when he was beaten to death by Halliwell, a less successful writer, who immediately afterward committed suicide.

Additional Reading
John Lahr, Prick Up Your Ears (1978, reprinted 1991), is a biography. Maurice Charney, Joe Orton (1984); and Susan Rusinko, Joe Orton (1995), offer critical analyses of his work.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Orton,Joe — Or·ton (ôrʹtn), Joe. Full name John Kingsley Orton. 1933 1967. British playwright noted for his black comedies, including Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1964) and What the Butler Saw (1969). * * * …   Universalium

  • Orton, Joe — orig. John Kingsley Orton (1 ene. 1933, Leicester, Leicestershire, Inglaterra–9 ago. 1967, Londres). Dramaturgo británico. Fue un actor fallido, por lo que se volcó a la escritura. En 1964 logró el éxito con su radioteatro El rufián en la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Joe Orton — Born John Kingsley Orton 1 January 1933(1933 01 01) Leicester, England Died 9 August 1967(1967 08 09) (aged 34) Islington, London, England John Kingsley ( Joe ) Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Orton — Joe Orton, cuyo nombre real era John Kingsley Orton, (Leicester, 1 de enero de 1933 Londres, 9 de agosto de 1967) fue un dramaturgo británico. En su corta pero prolífica carrera desde 1964 hasta su muerte, chocó, ultrajó y asombró a las… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Joe Orton — [Joe Orton] (1933–67) an English writer of plays that are full of wild and often shocking humour, including Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), Loot (1965) and What the Butler Saw (1967). He was murdered by his jealous lover, who then killed himself …   Useful english dictionary

  • Orton — Orton, Joe (1933 67) an English writer of ↑black comedy, whose most famous plays are Entertaining Mr Sloan (1964) and Loot (1966). He was murdered by his lover Keith Halliwall …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Joe — /joh/, n. 1. (sometimes l.c.) Informal. fellow; guy: the average Joe who works for a living. 2. Informal. a personification of a typical, often unprepossessing representative of an occupation, personality trait, state of being, etc., that is… …   Universalium

  • Joe — (as used in expressions) Bird, Larry (Joe) DiMaggio, Joe Hill, Joe Jackson, Joe Shoeless Joe Jackson Louis, Joe Montana, Joe Morgan, Joe Namath, Joe Orton, Joe Joe Yule, Jr …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • joe — joe1 /joh/, n. Scot. jo. joe2 /joh/, n. Slang. coffee. [1840 50; of uncert. orig.] * * * (as used in expressions) Bird Larry Joe DiMaggio Joe Hill Joe Jackson Joe Shoeless Joe Jackson Louis Joe Montana Joe Morgan Joe Namath Joe Orton Joe Williams …   Universalium

  • Joe Orton — (* 1. Januar 1933 in Leicester; † 9. August 1967 in London) war ein britischer Dramatiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 2.1 Stücke …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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