theatre: joe orton

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The Independent Culture
Stephen Frears's film Prick Up Your Ears - scripted by the great Alan Bennett - introduced moviegoers to the great theatrical talent of Joe Orton (below). Unlike Miss Jean Brodie, this genuinely groundbreaking comic writer, dubbed the "Oscar Wilde of the Welfare State", never saw his prime as he was murdered by his lover. Now, thanks to his sister Leonie, who has been emptying out her attic, we have the first opportunity to see how it all began. On Monday and Tuesday, there are readings of excerpts from his earliest plays - Fred and Madge and The Visitors and a novel, Between Us Girls, all of which have only just been published for the first time. Wednesday's performance also offers the chance to see Leonie (memorably played by Frances Barber in the film) in interview.

National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-452 3000) Mon-Wed, 6pm