Joe Orton

  • Leslie Smith


With Joe Orton, we come to the first of a number of contemporary playwrights who have experimented challengingly and inventively with the genre of farce, and have used the form in more unexpected or provocative ways than is often the case with the Whitehall or post-Whitehall tradition in farce — a tradition which stems partly from Ben Travers, partly from music-hall. None the less, their knowledge of, and debt to, that tradition is often manifest. In this and the concluding two chapters of this book, I shall look at a number of contemporary playwrights whose work, unlike that of Travers, Chapman, Pertwee and Cooney, is seen as ‘serious’ by the writers of critical studies of modern drama, and discuss their interest in, and experiments with, the genre.


Comic Tension Critical Stock Modern Drama Candid Camera False Tooth 
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  1. Joe Orton, The Complete Plays (Methuen, 1976).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Leslie Smith 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Polytechnic of North LondonUK

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