Academic co-curates special exhibition on Joe Orton

The National Justice Museum has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign to celebrate the work of Leicester playwright, Joe Orton.

The museum is hoping to raise £10,000 as part of an Art Happens campaign, hosted by national charity Art Fund, to help create a special exhibition – featuring archival materials provided by our University – and exploring for the first time the fascinating role of crime in Joe Orton’s life and work. 

Titled Crimes of Passion: The Story of Joe Orton, the exhibition will mark the 50th anniversary of Orton’s death and the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. 

The exhibition is co-curated by the renowned Orton academic, Dr Emma Parker, from the School of Arts.

Dr Parker said: “This exhibition will examine, for the first time, crimes committed by and against Orton alongside Orton's treatment of crime in his plays. It offers a valuable insight into shifting conceptions of social justice.”

The exhibition will pay homage to Joe Orton’s principle format of work – plays and will feature objects on loan from the University of Leicester’s Orton Archive, including archival material and the Morocco diary.

Artist (and Orton’s nephew) David Lock, will also be commissioned to create new artwork and a large-scale collage inspired by the one that lined the walls of Orton’s and Halliwell’s bedsit in London which featured images stolen from library books.