Derby Theatre hosts fearless comedy play which caused an outcry in the 60s

Jack Lord as Doctor Rance and Holly Smith as Mrs Beckett in London Classic Theatre's production of What The Butler Saw.Jack Lord as Doctor Rance and Holly Smith as Mrs Beckett in London Classic Theatre's production of What The Butler Saw.
Jack Lord as Doctor Rance and Holly Smith as Mrs Beckett in London Classic Theatre's production of What The Butler Saw.
If you need a good laugh then Joe Orton’s most ambitious play What The Butler Saw is just the tonic.

The playwright explores comic territory that few of his ilk have dared to visit, offering a masterclass in fearless writing in which no institution, political view or tradition is safe.

London Classic Theatre will tour What The Butler Saw to Derby Theatre from June 11 to 15. Within 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 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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John Dorney is cast as Doctor Prentice, Holly Smith as Mrs Prentice. Alana Jackson as Geraldine, Jack Lord as Doctor Rance and Jon-Paul Rowden as Sergeant Match.

Michael Cabot, artistic director of London Classic Theatre said: “I’m delighted to be directing What The Butler Saw. I’ve always been a massive admirer of Joe Orton’s work and this play in particular. It’s undeniably a ground-breaking, challenging piece. Primarily, it’s a brilliantly constructed farce, but it also explores territory that allows Orton’s wicked sense of humour free rein. No one is safe! The play was first performed at the end of the 1960s, causing something of an outcry, so it will be fascinating to see what audiences make of it in 2024.”

Age guidance 14+. Tickets from £24, go to www.derbytheatre.co.uk

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