Joe Orton was an English playwright noted for his black comedies, which combine genteel dialogue with violent and shocking action.

Orton delighted in shocking audiences by breaking taboos surrounding sexuality and death in conventionally structured ‘black’ farces involving epigrammatic dialogue and frenetic, convoluted plots. In Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), a young lodger attempts to lure a woman and her brother into providing him with all he needs, only to find he has become each one’s sexual plaything; Loot (1965) is a parody of a detective story involving much comic business with a coffin and a corpse; and What the Butler Saw (1969) stylishly turns farce on its head. His posthumously published novel, Head to Toe, was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.

Joe Orton

All nominated books

Head To Toe