Joe Orton

Bryant & May: Being Funny Kills Me

There’s a famous anecdote involving the playwright Joe Orton. During the run of ‘Loot’, a farce in the course of which the corpse of the hero’s mother loses her false teeth, Orton handed a new set of dentures to the lead actor, explaining that they belonged to his own dead mother. The actor was horrified, […]

Too Early, Hywel…

Once Hywel Bennett was in cinemas everywhere, nearly always playing offbeat characters, from the McCartney-scored ‘The Family Way’, in which he is unable to consummate his marriage to Hayley Mills, to the Boultings’ ‘Twisted Nerve’, in which he portrayed Martin, a psychopath menacing er, Hayley Mills again. He also turned up in the superb TV […]

Whimsy Is The New Reality

There are certain literary traits I don’t much care for; over-earnestness, sentiment, nostalgia and manufactured ‘edge’ being among the worst – TV crime dramas seem to believe that everything should be grim and shouty – Tony Hancock once said ‘You can get away with anything if you keep a straight face’ – but I’ve never […]