Arts

Orton uncensored: first outing for taboo-busting script

14 September 2017 | by Mark Lawson

THEATRE

 

Orton's short career coincided with the final years of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship of theatre, with the result that his scripts were premiered in much-shortened versions. The revival of Loot that marks five decades since the writer’s death is the first performance with all the blue-pencil marks erased.

Even in its bowdlerised form, the drama was calculated to have many theatregoers’ eyebrows touching the auditorium roof. The taboos Orton poked in Loot were those English unmentionables: money and death. The central prop – an unsettling sight even now – is a coffin with a corpse just visible within.

 





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