Photograph of Joe Orton at his flat in Islington, c. 1964


This photograph shows the playwright Joe Orton in his flat on Noel Road, Islington, where he lived with his partner Kenneth Halliwell. In a white t-shirt, turn-up jeans and high-top canvas trainers, Orton lies on the bed, in front of the walls that he and Halliwell collaged with prints and images cut from art books and magazines.

In 1962 Orton and Halliwell were sentenced to six month’s imprisonment for the theft and ‘malicious damage’ of books belonging to Islington Public Library – some of which they used to decorate their flat. By 1965, when this photograph was probably taken, Orton had found fame with his satirical, black comedies including the radio play The Ruffian on the Stair (1964) and the stage play Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964).

Full title:
Joe Orton Playwright Murdered By His Lover Kenneth Halliwell At Their Islington Home In 1967. Pictured At His Islington Home. 16 Apr 1964’
c. 1964, 25 Noel Road, Islington, London
Photograph / Image
© George Elam / Daily Mail /REX/Shutterstock
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