What the Butler Saw
Standard: £24 - £28, Friends: £5 off Tues evening & Wed matinee
What the Butler Saw is Joe Orton’s final, most ambitious play, manic farce and masterclass in fearless comic writing.
No institution, political view or tradition is safe, as Orton focuses his wicked sense of humour on a range of targets, including the establishment, an ex-Prime Minister, cross-dressing, misogyny and the medical profession. He brings together an array of distinctive characters, placing them in a series of improbable situations, unflinchingly exploring comic territory few playwrights before or since have dared to visit.
Within the pristine walls of his private psychiatric clinic, Doctor Prentice is interviewing a new secretary. Geraldine wants the position but seems underqualified and uncertain about her parentage. Mrs Prentice appears, flushed and in urgent need of a drink, following an illicit encounter with Nick Beckett, blackmailer and bellboy at the Station Hotel. In the meantime, Doctor Rance, a Government Inspector and Sergeant Match, a policeman, arrive amidst increasing chaos with searching questions of their own.
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