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A Genius Like Us: A Portrait of Joe Orton 



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Episode credited cast:
Harry Andrews ... Ed (archive footage)
Richard Braine Richard Braine ... Himself - Publisher (as Richard Brain)
Una Brandon-Jones Una Brandon-Jones ... Mother
Michael Bryant ... Mike (archive footage)
Jim Connell Jim Connell ... Himself - Special Services Librarian: Islington
Kenneth Cranham ... Himself (as Ken Cranham)
Billy Hamon Billy Hamon ... Wilson (archive footage)
John Lahr John Lahr ... Himself - Biographer
Nicholas Lyndhurst ... Dennis
Charles Marowitz Charles Marowitz ... Himself - First West End Director of 'Loot'
Keith Marsh Keith Marsh ... McLeavy
Peter McEnery ... Mr. Sloane (archive footage)
Charles Monteith Charles Monteith ... Himself - Publisher
Paul Moriarty Paul Moriarty ... Truscott
Richard O'Donoghue Richard O'Donoghue ... Himself - RADA Administrator


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Release Date:

9 November 1982 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Edited from ITV Sunday Night Theatre (1969) See more »

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A Genius Like Us: A Portrait Of Joe Orton
26 January 2015 | by a_baronSee 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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