Joe Orton on the BBC

Material from the University of Leicester has played a key role in the making of a new documentary on the celebrated Leicester playwright Joe Orton.

Joe Orton Laid Bare, showing at 9pm on BBC 2 on Saturday 25 November, draws on archival material from the Joe Orton Collection in the University’s Special Collections.

To coincide with the new documentary, BBC Arts will make an Orton-inspired animation by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Chris Shepherd available on its website for three months from today. The animation, ‘Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’ was funded by the University of Leicester and Arts Council England. Renowned Orton academic Dr Emma Parker, from the University of Leicester School of Arts, was an Executive Producer of the animation.

The animation, which stars Alison Steadman, was inspired by prank letters of complaint that Orton penned using the pseudonym Mrs Edna Welthorpe and produced alongside new Edna Welthorpe letters that Chris and Emma commissioned from top comedy writers and actors, and a national creative writing competition that they ran for post-16 students. This is the first time the film will be available to the public for free.

All the letters, plus information about Joe Orton and Edna Welthorpe, are available here:

You can access the animation on the BBC Arts website, where it is currently featured on their homepage: