next work was completed in 1964 as Sloane was taking off.
The Good and Faithful Servant was a one-act play for Rediffusion
Television, Orton’s comment on the drudgery and
deadening routine of the factory system.
This is one of Orton’s most biographical works drawing
strongly from his family and experiences in Leicester
with a bitter theme of wasted lives and lost ambition.
The work was not actually filmed until 1967 and by then
Orton’s writing had moved on considerably and this
remains a somewhat different work, far more slice of life
realism than the farcical taboo breaking comedies he was
to write later.
His diary records his thoughts on Donald Pleasance, who
was playing the lead role, while attending rehearsals
at Rediffusion Studios in 1967, three years after writing
the play. The comments reflect a writer at ease with their
‘Surprising how stars add to a play.
I’d never realised what real stars did. They light
up lines and situations in an uncanny way. There’s
no question of a real star doing a line wrong.’