I have been reading about sixties playwright Joe Orton. I was aware he lived in Islington, North London before his death in 1967 aged 34. He lived in a small top-floor flat in a pressure cooker atmosphere with his older, long-term partner Kenneth Halliwell. I put my iPhone to use, discovered Orton's prior residence was five minutes away (off Angel Underground Station), and decided to track down the flat. I found the property after walking around in circles for twenty minutes. The presence of builders and young families made it difficult to hang about taking pictures. And we mustn't forget, Orton was murdered in the flat!
(Above) 25 Noel Road, Islington. Top floor flat (window open). Joe Orton was murdered by his partner Kenneth Halliwell in the flat on August 9th 1967.
Orton arrived on the literary scene in 1964 with his radio play The Ruffian On The Stair. The commission followed a period when Orton had been sentenced to six months imprisonment alongside Halliwell for defacing library books.
(Below) A few of the books Orton and Halliwell altered. The book covers are currently on show at Islington Museum. The six month prison sentence gave Orton the opportunity to bring detachment to his writing. This proved to be the catalyst for his writing career.
Later in the day, I enjoyed the matinee production of Pests at the Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. The piece directed by Lucy Morrison lived up to its hype as uncompromising in-yer-face theatre. I was particularly impressed by Joanna Scotcher's set-design and the strong performances by Ellie Kendrick (Rolly) and Sinead Matthews (Pink).
Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (below).
Here is a link of the set-design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ0_Ci5L678