Lot 454: Orton Joe


2015-07-10 15:42:37


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Lot 454: Orton Joe: (1933-1967) English Playwright. An Excellent T.L.S., Joe, Two Pages, 4To, London, N.D. ('Friday', April/May 1966), To Michael [White]. Orton Informs His Correspondent That He Has Been By The Phoenix Again Since They Spoke And Remarks 'The More I Look At His Face The More I'M Convinced That Quayle Is The Right Person…If You'Re Agreeable (Supposing Q. Turns It Down) There'S Robert Shaw And Harry Andrews In That Kind Of Catagory (Sic) Isn'T There? I'M Dead Against The Rod Steiger/Clair (Sic) Bloom Idea After Thinking It Over. Even If They'D Accept They'D Both Be Wrong' And Further Discusses The Casting Of His Play Loot, 'For Mcleay (Who Is The Next Big Part In The Play) I'D Like Reginald Marsh - He Could Do Truscott, But He'D Be A Far Finer Mcleavy - He'S Fat And Pompous On Stage. Exactly Right. The Way It'S Played At Manchester Does Leave Me Wide Open To Accusations Of A €Œmessage†Ending. Quiet Wrong. Please If You'Re Casting Before The Erpingham Camp Is Shown Publicly, Try And Get A Glance At Reginald Marsh In A Private View Of The Erpingham Camp. It Would Be Marvellous If We Could Get Quayle As Trustcott And Reggie Marsh As Mcleavy. I'D Be Worried About Arthur Lowe As Mcleavy. He'S Too Likeable. And - Which Is The Thing - Mcleavy Is Mr Swindley. He'D Have To Play It As Swindley. And Then You Know What The Sillier Critics Would Say. No, Please, Have A Look At Reggie! Fay. The Way It'S Being Played At Manchester - As A Real Woman, A Real Nurse, Is Right. If You Can Think Of A Starrier Version Of That O.K. Otherwise I'D Be Delighted To Have The Manchester Girl. A Name I'D Be Happy With Is Vivian Merchant. Otherwise There Hasn'T Been A Really Good Suggestion On The Part So Far. It Is The Third Part In The Play. I Don'T Want Any Of These 'Monsters'. I Want A Real Woman. Not A Man In Drag. And This Is About The Most Difficult Thing To Achieve In The West End Theatre. So Please Merchant Or The Girl In Manchester. Or Someone Who Really Can Suggest A Real Nurse, A Real Woman. The Boys In Manchester Are Poor. My First Choice For Hal Would Be Derek Fowlds. John Hurt. Ian Mcshane. Dennis I'Ve Only Got Huwel (Sic) Bennett Or Barry Evans. That Type Anyway. Not Bolam. He'S Good But Oh, Dear, He'S As Clean As A Whistle Sexually. This Is What Is Wrong With The Manchester Boys. One Can'T Imagine Them Having Each Other Or Fay Or Anyone.' Orton Concludes By Also Discussing The Director, Allowing White To Make His Own Decision And Remarking 'I'M Not Good On Directors. Get Somebody Straightforward If Possible. Somebody Who'Ll Know His Onions. I'M Dead Against Anyone Too Arty. I Think It'S A Good 75% Casting Anyway. Depending On What You Think After You'Ve Seen Manchester I Wouldn'T Violently Object To Braham Murray. But Then, On Directors, I'M A Blank. The Style Of The Set In Manchester Is Right. It Could Do With Being Better For Londone (Sic). But The Tone Is Right'. A Letter Of Wonderful Content. Autographs Of Orton Are Rare In Any Form Following His Tragic Murder At The Age Of 34 When He Was Bludgeoned To Death By His Partner Kenneth Halliwell, Who Subsequently Committed Suicide. A Few Very Small Pinholes To The Upper Left Corner Of Each Page, Not Affecting The Text Or Signature, Vg Michael White (1936- ) British Theatrical Impresario And Film Producer. Orton'S Play Loot Opened In Cambridge On 1St February 1965 And Met With Scathing Reviews. The Production Starred Geraldine Mcewan, Kenneth Williams, Duncan Macrae And Ian Mcshane And Was Directed By Peter Wood. Orton Substantially Modified The Play And It Was Staged With Some Success In April 1966 At The University Theatre, Manchester, And The Playwright Continued With His Modifications Right Up Until Its Appearance In The West End In September 1966. Directed By Charles Marowitz, Gerry Duggan Portrayed Mcleavy, Sheila Ballantine Was Cast As Fay, Kenneth Cranham As Hal, Simon Ward As Dennis And Michael Bates As Inspector Truscott (Interestingly, None Of Them The Actors Referred To By Orton In The Present Letter). A Success On This Occasion, Loot Won Best Play At The Evening Standard Awards In January 1967 And Also Received The Plays And Player'S Critics Award. The Present Letter Discusses Some Of The Most Prominent Stage Actors Of The 1960S Including Anthony Quayle, Robert Shaw, Harry Andrews, Reginald Marsh, Arthur Lowe, Derek Fowlds, John Hurt, Ian Mcshane, Hywel Bennett And James Bolam. Mcshane Had Appeared In The 1965 Cambridge Production And Bennett Starred In A Film Version Of Loot In 1970. The Erpingham Camp, A Television Drama Written By Orton, Was First Screened On 27Th June 1966. International Autograph Auctions' Autograph Auction July 2015 Saturday, 18th July 2015 Estimate: £600 - 900
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