Entertaining Mr Orton** (C Venues Edinburgh, 13 August 2013)

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Theatre

Covering the same ground as the film “Prick Up Your Ears”, Martin Mulgrove’s one hour play is an account of the last days of playwright Joe Orton (Jack Burns) and his lover Kenneth Halliwell (Stuart Denman). It grips and amuses in parts, but it tells us nothing new. Orton flew in the face of the social norms of the early 1960s both in his plays and his personal life and this play tries to emulate his writing style. However, what may have caused shocked hilarity 50 years ago barely raises an eyebrow today and a couple of Ortonesque scenes in the middle of the play misfire terribly. An unusually large cast of 14 do well and the production is not without merit, but it is all rather patchy.

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