Arena

A Genius Like Us: A Portrait of Joe Orton (9 Nov. 1982)

TV Episode  |  Documentary
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Ed (archive footage)
Richard Braine ...
Himself - Publisher (as Richard Brain)
Una Brandon-Jones ...
Actress
Jim Connell ...
Himself - Special Services Librarian: Islington
...
Himself (as Ken Cranham)
John Lahr ...
Himself - Biographer
...
Dennis
Charles Marowitz ...
First West End Director
Keith Marsh ...
McLeavy
Peter McEnery ...
Mr. Sloane (archive footage)
Charles Monteith ...
Himself - Publisher
Paul Moriarty ...
actor
Richard O'Donoghue ...
Himself - RADA Administrator
Leonie Orton Barnett ...
Herself - Joe's Sister
Douglas Orton ...
Himself - Brother
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Release Date:

9 November 1982 (UK)  »

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A Genius Like Us: A Portrait Of Joe Orton
26 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Joe Orton was murdered on August 9, 1967; his killer and "lover" Kenneth Halliwell took his own life immediately afterwards. This BBC documentary, broadcast a decade and a half after that sensational act, traces the rise of Orton, and the events leading up to his shocking demise.

It includes many interviews including with a librarian, and the council official who brought Orton and Halliwell to book (literally) over the disgraceful and pointless affair of the defaced library books; Kenneth Williams; and Orton's agent.

The ludicrous Edna Welthorpe letters are covered, but most interestingly we learn that Orton based the character Inspector Truscott from his play "Loot" on Detective Sergeant Challenor, the bent (or insane) copper at the centre of arguably the biggest police corruption scandal of the 1960s.

Orton's sordid sexual misadventures are not discussed, thankfully, but the title...was Orton really a genius? Not in any sense of the word; true, he was a talented playwright, but of course we will never now know his true potential.


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