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April 28, 2014

A6 Butler Male w THE work of one of our most illuminative playwrights, Joe Orton, is the subject of an equally illuminative Hornchurch based theatrical group.
Formed in 1980, Kytes, came into being determined to ‘perform contemporary drama, which both challenges the cast, but also entertains the audience,’ a target they maintain today with Orton’s ‘What The Butler Saw’.
The title ticks every box when you think of Orton.
Written in the year he was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, Orton’s liberated view of life was reflected in this play of few boundaries.
It was between 1964 and 1967, that Joe Orton sprang to notoriety as a playwright, with his additions to a working class culture that swept through the country.
An openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was prosecuted, he rose to become a promising, if not controversial, name in the British theatre.
The author of ‘Loot’ a play that cleared the table for the British stage, he set parameters for a new thinking. (picture below, many a penny and pennies have enjoyed the view)
What the Butler sawA critical survey of literature for students gives a good idea of those parameters for What the Butler Saw: ‘Geraldine Barclay, an attractive young woman in search of her first job, appears at Dr. Prentice’s clinic one day to be interviewed for a secretarial position. Under interrogation from Prentice, she tells him that her father deserted her mother many years ago when the latter was a chambermaid at the Station Hotel. She herself did not see her mother for a long time, and her stepmother, Mrs. Barclay, died recently from being penetrated with a certain part of a statue of Sir Winston Churchill that was destroyed in a gas-main explosion. Geraldine’s legacy from her stepmother is that part of the Churchillian statue, which she carries with her in a box to the interview.’
A6 Butler FemalewKytes say in their press release that it is a challenging play to stage and the almost everyone in the cast finds themselves in a state of undress at one point or another. Also for one of the ladies, a trip to the hairdressers is required as her character ends up with a shaved head.
Directed by Bob Thompson, the production will be staged at Brentwood Theatre, 15 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8AG, at 8pm, Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 May 2014.
Tickets cost £12 and can be booked directly from the theatre on 01277 200 305, or via the group’s own website at with an ‘early bird’ rate of £10.
As you would expect it contains some strong language and adult themes, and is not suitable for younger audiences, but entirely suitable entertainment for those who can legally go in a pub.

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