days after their latest rejection Monteith received a
letter from Orton.
‘Kenneth and I have decided that there is very little
to be gained by our collaboration so we have split (for
the purpose of writing)’.
Enclosed was Orton’s first solo work – a manuscript
for a novel, Between us Girls. There was one further submission
The Vision of Gombald Proval, also rejected as being ‘several
degrees too odd’.
Orton now abandoned the novel as a form and began to write
plays. His first effort, Fred and Madge was a fantasy
about escaping working class life, followed by The Visitors,
a slice of life realism about a man dying in hospital
while nurses and family are oblivious to the old man.
The Visitors was submitted to the BBC and Royal Court
Theatre and praised for its ‘excellent dialogue’
but rejected, ‘the flaw is lack of shaping
and dramatic impact.
Success had evaded Orton and Halliwell writing both collaboratively
and alone. Depressed by failure, there was about to be
a wholly unexpected turn of events, which would profoundly
affect Orton’s writing and relationship with Halliwell.