Fred & Madge (1959) is the first play by Joe Orton, one of the most pivotal playwrights of the 20th century. Until now this full length play has been unseen. Now for the first time it will be staged at The Hope Theatre, a stone’s throw from Orton’s former bedsit flat on Noel Road where he lived, wrote and was murdered.
Webber: Do you want to ruin society and civilization with your laughter?
Madge: Yes, oh yes!
Fred and Madge are a normal unhappily married couple. Or so we think… until we discover that they are inhabiting a play about themselves. To this meta-theatrical framework, the young Orton adds his trademark biting satire and social insight, along with the truly strange.
Full of sardonic wit and sexual innuendo Joe Orton’s Fred & Madge is a fascinating and hilarious insight into the development of one of the most original minds of 20th century theatre.
Joe Orton came from a working-class family in Leicester. He won a scholarship to RADA where he met his lover and lifelong companion Kenneth Halliwell with whom he lived until 1967 when Halliwell murdered him and then killed himself. His work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What The Butler Saw.
Director Mary Franklin
Designer Christopher Hone
Lighting Designer Seth Rook-Williams
Rough Haired Pointer’s past work includes The Diary Of A Nobody (White Bear and King’s Head Theatres), The Boy Who Cried (The Hope & Tabard Theatres) and The Young Visiters (The Hen and Chickens). Their work combines visual originality, precisely crafted staging and headlong action. Mary Franklin, 24, is a graduate of the King’s Head Theatre Trainee Director Scheme, Artistic Director of Rough Haired Pointer and Resident Director of The Hope Theatre.
Fred & Madge is the final production at The Hope Theatre under founding Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher ahead of Matthew Parker taking over the venue in October.
FRED and MADGE By Joe Orton
The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL
Press night: Friday 19th September at 7.30pm
15th September to 18th October
Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinee 18th October 2.30
Previews: 15, 16, 17 September all seats £10
Tickets £13 – £16
Box Office | 020 7226 4443
Tuesday 2nd September 2014