took Ramsey rather than Halliwell to the Evening Standard
awards ceremony. Three letters were waiting for Orton
at her office, one of them informing Orton Loot had won
Plays and Players best play in the critics annual poll.
Orton was on a roll.
The papers were filled with stories of Orton selling the
Loot film rights for a wildly exaggerated £100,000
(the figure was actually £25,000) and the box office
increased for Loot now the award had conferred legitimacy
and people had been told ‘it was ok to like it’.
Orton’s good fortune continued when he was contacted
by The Beatles management who wanted him to write a script
for their next film.
‘Basically the Beatles are getting fed
up with the Dick Lester type of direction. They want dialogue
to speak … Difficult this, as I don’t think
any of the Beatles can act in any accepted sense.’
Orton's Diary 15th January 1967.
Orton was not convinced that the film would ever be made
so he reworked one of his old novels, The Vision of Gombald
Proval, into a script.
‘I began the first page or two of the
film which I’m calling Up Against It’. I’m
not bothering to write a character for them. I shall just
do all my box of tricks – Sloane and Hal on them.
After all if I repeat myself in the film it doesn’t
matter. Nobody who sees the film will have seen Sloane
or Loot’. Orton’s Diary 16th January 1966.
Orton was a big Beatles fan and met with Paul McCartney
to discuss the film, recorded in some detail in his diary.
The script was however rejected by the Beatles management
with no reason given. Perhaps because their characters
were adulterous cross-dressing murderers may have had
something to do with it. Orton’s response was a
succinct ‘Fuck them’.
Lewenstein liked the script and two days later bought
it for £10,000 and 10% of the profits, though it
was never actually filmed.