Emma Parker - A new Edna Welthorpe letter
Read the Edna Welthorpe letter written by Dr Emma Parker of the University of Leicester.
Joe Orton, Edna Welthorpe, Play, playwright, Leicester, Letters, letters, Emma Parker
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-327,page-child,parent-pageid-119,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,content_with_no_min_height,select-theme-ver-3.6,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.3,vc_responsive


Emma Parker

To Nikolai Foster,

Dear Mr. Foster,

I had the great misfortune to see Entertaining Mr Sloane and Loot in the 1960s and I am sorry to see that Curve, Leicester has chosen to revive What the Butler Saw.


I decided to come and see your production to assess if Mr Joe Horton’s last play is any better than his first two.


It most certainly is not!


Nevermind what the Butler saw. I saw the same nasty characters engaged in the same lurid shenanigans.


As a citizen and erstwhile taxpayer, it’s my duty to insist that public money be spent on decent, family entertainment not a depraved drama about sexual irregularity. There’s enough of that in Holby City.


Theatre should raise moral standards, not trample all over them in a pair of hobnail boots, stilettos – or even a sensible pair of Clark’s shoes (sadly not up to the standard of yore but still the best on the high street).


Please bear this in mind when devising your future programmes. How about something historical like Romans in Britain? Alternatively, what about a musical – good, clean fun, with some super tunes? I’ve heard that Bathhouse is good (Bath is such a lovely city and I have been a proud member of the Historical Houses Association for more than 20 years!).


I suggest you try to live up your name, young man, and foster the production of more wholesome values.

Yours truly,

Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)

Emma Parker’s Edna letter to Nikolai Foster, director of What the Butler Saw at Curve, Leicester, in March 2017 was reported in The Stage. Click here to view the article.


Emma Parker is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Leicester.  She produced a 50th anniversary edition of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama, 2014) and has published essays on Orton and music, Orton and art, and Orton and Shakespeare. In 2017, she co-curated the exhibition ‘What the Artist Saw: Art Inspired by the Life and Work of Joe Orton’ (with Michael Petry, MOCA) and ‘Crimes of Passion: The Story of Joe Orton’ (with Bev Baker, National Justice Museum).


Find out more about Emma Parker by clicking here


1 Comment

  • Rowan Songsmith

    27.11.2017 at 13:25 Reply

    This is my favourite letter on the site. So interesting to find out about the letters Joe Orton wrote as Edna. I knew about the comments and so on in library books, but had never heard of the Edna Welthorpe letters before now. What a brilliant idea! And so innovative to have people write new ones. Loved the film, too – lovely animation, if too short.

Post a Comment