tue 26/01/2021

Prick Up Your Ears, Comedy Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Prick Up Your Ears, Comedy Theatre

Prick Up Your Ears, Comedy Theatre

Appeals more to the eyes than to the heart

Matt Lucas and Chris New as Halliwell and Orton: Unbelievable as an old married couplephoto: Tristram Kenton

Playwright Joe Orton's untimely death has often threatened to eclipse his life. On 9 August 1967, he was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who then committed suicide. Although Orton had completed the first draft of his masterpiece, What the Butler Saw, he'd never got around to writing a play called Prick Up Your Ears, whose naughty, innuendo-heavy title had been suggested by Halliwell. But the title lived on. First as John Lahr's 1978 biography, then as Stephen Frears's 1987 film and now as Simon Bent's new play.

Playwright Joe Orton's untimely death has often threatened to eclipse his life. On 9 August 1967, he was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who then committed suicide. Although Orton had completed the first draft of his masterpiece, What the Butler Saw, he'd never got around to writing a play called Prick Up Your Ears, whose naughty, innuendo-heavy title had been suggested by Halliwell. But the title lived on. First as John Lahr's 1978 biography, then as Stephen Frears's 1987 film and now as Simon Bent's new play.

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