Matt Lucas is to play Kenneth Halliwell alongside Chris New as playwright Joe Orton in Daniel Kramer's production of Prick Up Your Ears, a new play by Simon Bent. Inspired exclusively by the John Lahr biography and the diaries of Joe Orton, Prick Up Your Ears examines the private lives of these two extraordinary men. With the full support of the Orton Estate, including Leonie Orton, Joe Orton's younger sister, Prick Up Your Ears is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions and Lee Menzies.
1962. Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton - RADA graduates, aspiring playwrights, and sometime lovers - plot their rightful place at the centre of London's literary scene whilst engaged in a secret crusade to "improve" the local library books, all in the worst possible taste of course, and acting out their own versions of popular radio dramas... with an extra dash of innuendo. But after a short interlude at Her Majesty's pleasure, Joe is about to become the greatest, and most notorious comic playwright since Oscar Wilde, whilst Ken stays indoors re-decorating, reduced to sharing Joe's success with their neighbour, Mrs Corden, over tea and a slice of battenburg.
Prick Up Your Ears - a darkly funny and moving play imagines what really happened when, after years of creative collaboration, the door slammed shut and Kenneth was home alone. It tells the sensational story behind the domestic life of Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, holed up in a tiny flat in Islington, trading well-trodden insults and hilarious put-downs like any old married couple.