A new play by Simon Bent. Inspired by John Lahr's biography and the diaries of Joe Orton.
1962. Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton - RADA graduates, aspiring playwrights, and sometime lovers - plot their rightful place at the centre of London’s literary scene. But after a short interlude at Her Majesty’s pleasure, Joe is about to become the greatest, and most notorious comic playwright since Oscar Wilde, whilst Ken stays indoors re-decorating, reduced to sharing Joe’s success with their neighbour, Mrs Corden, over tea and a slice of battenburg.
Prick Up Your Ears - a darkly funny and moving play imagines what really happened when, after years of creative collaboration, the door slammed shut and Kenneth was home alone. It tells the sensational story behind the domestic life of Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, holed up in a tiny flat in Islington, trading well-trodden insults and hilarious put-downs like any old married couple.
Prick Up Your Ears opened at the Comedy Theatre, London in September 2009, with a cast including Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and Chris New.