Extract fom Funeral Games showing Orton's edits



“All classes are criminal today. We live in an age of equality”.

Funeral Games was first presented by Yorkshire Television in August 1968 as part of a series based on ‘The Seven Deadly Virtues’.

Written in five drafts between July and mid-November 1966, Funeral Games was the transitional play between Loot and What the Butler Saw. Orton created such outrageous characters that he was able to shock his audience with the unexpected and often grotesque. In one scene, as Tessa puts a cake for tea on a doily, Caulfield is seen laying down a meat cleaver whilst carrying a human hand, severed above the wrist, wrapped in sacking.

Caulfield: I couldn’t get her head off. It must be glued on.
McCorquodale: She was always a head- strong woman.

The play was written during the most productive period of Orton’s career. Between October 1966 until his death in August 1967, he wrote Funeral Games; a film script for The Beatles, Up Against It; re-writes of The Ruffian on the Stair and Erpingham Camp, both of which formed the Crimes of Passion double bill and What The Butler Saw.

Image: Courtesy The Orton Estate/Joe Orton Collection at the Library of the University of Leicester   Text © Leicester City Council / Orton Quotes: © The Orton Estate  

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