- Publisher: Grove Press; Book Club Edition. edition (1976)
- ASIN: B001P5SKTC
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,126,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Joe Orton: The Complete Plays Hardcover – 1976
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The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
The last one, "What The Butler Saw", got a little bit too ridiculously farcical for my taste and went on too long, but it has its moments; and otherwise they're all pretty good to read.
I can also recommend the introduction. Joe Orton lived his own life very much like the people in his plays (which makes you wonder how much of his material was supposed to be comedy). Even his death was true to form: his envious lover, actor Kenneth Halliwell, bashed in Orton's brains with a hammer just prior to doing himself in with 22 sleeping tablets.
THE COMPLETE PLAYS is not as complete as the title implies, for the text leaves out several titles that never received any production during Orton's lifetime. Still, it does collect the major titles, and that in itself is enough to earn it a place on any serious play-reader's shelf.
Originally presented as a BBC radio program, THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR presents the story of Joyce, an unmarried woman of dubious background who is now under the control of Mike, an older man who has mysterious assignations that lead to a fateful encounter with a boy hairdresser named Wilson--whose lover (or brother, depending on how you think about it) may have been a victim of one of Mike's covert operations. It got Orton noticed, and his next effort would truly put him on the map: ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE was and is one of the salaciously funny comedies ever brought to the stage, the wickedly funny tale of an aging sex-crazed woman and her homosexual brother who use their father's murder as a means of blackmailing a young thug into their respective beds.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the work of these two critics of the British establishment was poorly received in its time, and quickly forgotten afterward, and England was spared any further dramatic assaults on its sensibilities.
The language is violent, the conception violent, the plays almost offensive, as indeed they were meant to be. Orton and Osborne were the dramatic equivalent of Electro-Shock Treatment for the dying Empire. Nevertheless, this book is as well worth reading as George Orwell's 1984 or Animal Farm.
Satirical and full of quick wit, Orton's plays attack British culture and spit on everything that the "respectable person," would hold dear.
Orton does not hold back anything and could come on a bit strong for a conservative reader, but my suggestion is that any lover of drama and theater should own and read these plays.
I bought the book for the play "What the Butler Saw" which style remedies me of "The Importance of Being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde. The other plays are an added plus.
Read the book then see if you local theater is aware of the plays.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have really enjoyed this book. Extremely entertaining. I wish I had found this playwrite sooner.Published 12 months ago by Penni Anderson
This is funny stuff. The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars is that it is British humor, which not everyone loves (like the "git'er done" crowd) and that it's... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mickey D. Hadick
An esseantial item for my collection of plays riddled with social/historical commentary. gtoPublished 21 months ago by Gordon T. Osing
He's a genius! Wish I could write like him. I especially like the one "What the Butler Saw." Wish I had his talent.Published on November 19, 2013 by J. Savoy
The headline sums it up and anyone who's read or seen orton's will agree. In a way, he was way too good to last.Published on October 14, 2013 by alex bushman