The area in front of the new Curve theatre in Leicester was officially unveiled as Orton Square on Saturday 1st Nov, in tribute to Joe Orton, who was raised on the city's Saffron Lane estate.

The event was part of a weekend of free events to mark Curve opening to the public and was attended by members of Joe’s family. Dedications were made by Councillor Patrick Kitterick, City Council spokesman for regeneration and transport, and Joe’s sister Leonie Orton-Barnett.

Councillor Kitterick, said: "The sign will be one element of the connection with Joe...Over the coming weeks and months, we plan to have some kind of artistic work here"

"Joe showed to people that, if you are prepared to work hard enough, and you have a talent, you can achieve anything....Hopefully, this will also act as an inspiration to other young people in Leicester."

Joe’s sister Leonie said she was proud of the recognition Joe had received. She said: "It's an absolutely fabulous gesture and couldn't be a more perfect location to put it....Joe would have been amazed that so much fuss was being made over him, but I think it's a testament to how relevant his work still is that people are still putting his plays on.”

(Two revivals of his work will be staged in London this Winter)

"I hope, one day, one of his shows takes place at Curve."

People who visited Orton Square were treated to a host of entertainment, including stilt walkers and dancers and later a fabulous firework display. The weather was wet and freezing but this didn't dampen the spirits of the enthusiasic crowds.

Listen to an interview with Councillor Patrick Kitterick and Mike Candler from the Cultural Quarter Projects Team here

See the Curve Performing Arts Centre here



1st row: Councillor Kitterick and Leonie Orton Barnett
2nd row: The sign is unveiled : Cllr Kitterick with Joe's sisters, Leonie and Marilyn
3rd & 4th rows: Large 3d letters stood in the square and the public were invited to decorate them throughout the day
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