Marin Theatre Company’s `What the Butler Saw’

I reviewed Marin Theatre Company’s production of What the Butler Saw by Joe Orton as my first reviewing assignment for the Marin Independent Journal.

You can read the review here. The show has been extended through July 5.

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Stacy Ross is Mrs. Prentice and Andy Murray is Dr. Rance in the Marin Theatre Company production of What the Butler Saw by Joe Orton. Photo by Ed Smith

5 thoughts on “Marin Theatre Company’s `What the Butler Saw’

  1. That was an excellent review of Joe Orton’s farce Chad. I was working for about four months in England in the ’60s when Warners was filming quicky movies mostly for the English market. The Government had frozen Hollywood box office assets and the studios were forced to make movies with these fozen assets. They were called “quote quickies” and played mostly in the British market.

    I met Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell off and on at a bar in the Vauxhall District of London. Joe was a first class loud person and had little love for anything that smacked of Hollywood. He a mouth on his and I could see he could piss off a lot of people. I think my saving grace with him was that I was Irish and he like Irishmen. Kenneth was the complete opposite. Quiet yet very jealous of Joe outgoing cruising any male in sight. I also remember that Kenneth Williams of Carry On movie fame would be with them sometimes. He was a first snob but a very sad person when it came to gay life. The three used to go to Morocco for a month every year where they would rent an apartment and pick up young Morocco boys.

    I remember seeing “Loot” in London and by that time I knew the couple fairly well. There was a party after the movie premier and there was a very ugly scene between Orton and Halliwell that came to blows. That was the last time I saw them.

    I returned to London in 1969 where I saw for the first time a young Ralph Richardson playing Dr. Ranch. I laugh my ass off at the whole production. Later in 1995 Eddy and I saw a revival at the Vaudeville. I can’t remember who was in the cast. I thought it was Lional Jefferys but I am not sure. I know it was a greater success in 95 then when it first appeared in 69. Needless to say Halliwell had murdered Orton about 3 months before the original opening. That did not surprise me either

  2. I was bugged by who did I see in the 1975 revival in London so I spend the whole day going though over 80 London programs to find out the cast. I finally found it. Now I remember Michael Medwin played the doctor. I doubt if very few persons knows this British actor. He played in J. Arthur Rank films and even appeared in Warrick Films which was a Columbia Film division for British made films. He had one of the most distinguished voice in British films and stage. He later produced and directed British films. Valentine Dyall played the wife was also in J. Arthur Rank films. The production was at the Whitehall Theatre a small theatre.

    In my prior comment I mentioned what was called Quoted Quickies. This was origially established by the British government in the early 30’s and every now and then the govenment would use the law to freeze assets of Hollywood studios so they would have to make films in the UK. Hollywood films were so popular in the U.K. that they sometime took most of box office cash in the kingdom. However many good films with one or two American stars made good box office in the U.K.

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