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Fri, 05 Aug


Civic Theatre Newcastle

What the Butler Saw


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What the Butler Saw
What the Butler Saw

Time & Location

05 Aug 2022, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Civic Theatre Newcastle, 375 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia

About the event

A psychiatric doctor in an exclusive, private clinic, attempts to interview an attractive would-be secretary in this savage sexually charged satire that is arguably more relevant now, than in 1969.

Now, 50 years after its premiere, Orton’s completely anarchic final farce deserves to be recognised as a play in tune with today’s #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in its excoriating satire on a society that elides, minimises, normalises and even romanticises rape. Orton thoughtfully uses this theme to amplify his central concerns: hypocrisy, corruption, misogyny and the limits of sexual revolution.

Alex Emeljanow brings Orton’s provocative attack on hypocrisy somersaulting into 2022 with this darkest of farces, stuffed full of twists and turns, mishaps and changes of fortune, coincidences and lunatic logic in which six characters gradually lose the plot, their wits and/or their clothes. Whether you see it as a black satire on the abuse of power, a savage assault on ‘respectability’, a post-Freudian dark night of the sexual soul or simply as a work of profound mischief, Orton’s wit and invention are as dazzling and fresh as ever.

“Like Oscar Wilde on fast-forward, brain-bending one-liners and triple entendres tumble on top of one another at increasingly dizzying speed.”

Belvoir St Theatre

"Hilarious, outrageous...It dazzles!...Wonderfully verbal, toying with words as if they were firecrackers."

The New York Times

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