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Artwork - What The Butler Saw
  • What The Butler Saw
    Anderson, Lindsay, born 1923 - died 1994
  • Enlarge image

What The Butler Saw

  • Object:

    Artwork

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1975 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Anderson, Lindsay, born 1923 - died 1994 (designer)
    Simard, Yves (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Collage

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lindsay Anderson

  • Museum number:

    S.1076-1995

  • Gallery location:

    Theatre & Performance, Room 103, case WN, shelf 1

This is the original poster design for the 1975 revival of What the Butler Saw at the Royal Court Theatre, London. The play is a farce set in a psychiatric clinic, which is reflected in the irreverence of the poster itself, a photo-collage designed by director Lindsay Anderson. This was a reference to Orton's own interest in collage; Orton and his partner Kenneth Halliwell served six months in prison after they spent a period in 1962 for defacing library books stolen from Islington libraries to make collages.

What the Butler Saw was Joe Orton's last play, and was not produced in the West End until 1969 at the Queen's Theatre, two years after Joe Orton was murdered by Kenneth Halliwell. The original production had a star cast including Ralph Richardson, Stanley Baxter and Coral Browne, but the play was not well received by the critics who dismissed it as filth. The play's reputation was not restored until this 1975 revival at the Royal Court, directed by Lindsay Anderson.

Physical description

Photographic, pictorial and typographic collage

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1975 (designed)

Artist/maker

Anderson, Lindsay, born 1923 - died 1994 (designer)
Simard, Yves (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Collage

Marks and inscriptions

ROYAL COURT THEATRE / Sloane Square SW1. 01-730 1745 in association with Michael White and Eddie Kulukundis presents

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

by Joe Orton

WITH / JANE CARR / VALENTINE DYALL / BRIAN GLOVER / KEVIN LLOYD / BETTY MARSDEN / MICHAEL MEDWIN

directed by / Lindsay Anderson

designed by / Jocelyn Herbert / lighting by / Nick Chelton / music by / Alan Price

Dimensions

Height: 60 cm, Width: 38 cm

Descriptive line

Original poster design for What the Butler Saw at the Royal Court Theatre, London, 1975

Labels and date

Poster for What the Butler Saw
1975

This is the original artwork for the 1975 production of Joe Orton's play What the Butler Saw. It was designed by director Lindsay Anderson as a photo-collage, a reference to Orton's own liking for collage. Orton appears in the lower right-hand corner of the poster. [45 words]

Play by Joe Orton, 1969
Royal Court Theatre, London

Paper, printed materials and glue
Designed by Lindsay Anderson (1923-94)

Bequeathed by Lindsay Anderson
Museum no. S.1076-1995 []

Materials

Printed paper; Glue

Techniques

Collage

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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