Master of subversive and cynical dark farce, Joe Orton enjoyed brief fame as an English playwright before his murder in 1969.
Such was his impact that the word ‘‘ortonesque’’ was coined to describe the outrageously implausible leaps of logic indulged in by his characters.
Orton’s last stage play, What the Butler Saw opens at Foxton Little Theatre on Friday.
Set in a psychiatric clinic where unusual behaviour is the order of the day, the plot contains enough twists, mishaps, coincidence and lunatic logic to furnish three or four comedies.
But, however often the six characters lose the thread, their wits or their clothes, their verbal self-possession never deserts them.
Seduction and adulterous intent are all part and parcel of the carry on, and What the Butler Saw, once regarded as scandalous, is now considered a classic English comedy.
Directed by Rhys Mills, the play sees Globe Award winning actor and director Carl Terry as the lascivious Dr Prentice trying to keep evidence of an extramarital dalliance from his wife, as his alcoholic other half attempts to likewise conceal her lover.
Complicating matters is the appearance of Dr Rance, a government inspector of psychiatric clinics, who becomes less and less sane as the play unfolds.
Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw opens at 7.30pm on Friday, July 29 at the Little Theatre, Main St. Foxton and runs on Fridays and Saturday until August 13. Bookings can be made at Foxton Property Brokers 06 363 0022.