Two red-heeled feet stand in front of a policemen's helmet

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

By Joe Orton
Wed 17 - Sat 20 July 2024
Tickets £20-£35*

Book now

Within his private psychiatric clinic, Doctor Prentice is interviewing a new secretary. Geraldine wants the position but seems underqualified and uncertain about her parentage. Mrs Prentice appears, flushed and in urgent need of a drink, following an illicit encounter at the Station Hotel. In the meantime, Doctor Rance, a Government Inspector and Sergeant Match, a policeman, arrive amidst increasing chaos with searching questions of their own.

What the Butler Saw is Joe Orton’s most ambitious play, manic farce and masterclass in fearless comic writing. No institution, political view or tradition is safe, as Orton explores comic territory few playwrights have dared to visit.

Joe Orton was born in Leicester in 1933. During a short, dazzling career, he shocked, outraged, and delighted audiences with his riotous black comedies, including Loot and Entertaining Mr Sloane.

Running Time

Approx. 2 hours including an interval

General Guidance

Contains strong language and adult themes

Age Guidance

14+

Tickets

Wednesday - Saturday, 7.30pm
and Thursday & Saturday, 2.30pm:
£20/£25/£30/£35*

*All ticket prices include a £3 per ticket booking fee.

Book now
Cast
Alex Cardall (Nicholas Beckett)

Training: Arts Educational Schools & National Youth Music Theatre.


Theatre includes: The Box of Delights (RSC), Winnie The Pooh: A New Musical Stage Adaptation (Riverside Studios & UK Tour), Come Dine With Me: The Musical (Turbine Theatre), The Osmonds: A New Musical (UK Tour), Rapunzel (Chipping Norton Theatre), The Wind in the Willows (Australian Shakespeare Company), HouseFire (Turbine Theatre & Jermyn Street Theatre), The Season (Royal & Derngate, Northampton, New Wolsey, Ipswich & The Other Palace, London), Evita (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Putting It Together (Hope Mill Theatre), Sweet Charity (Watermill Theatre), Olivier Awards and Disney Hits - Friday Night Is Music Night (Royal Albert Hall), Jule, Jerry and Steve (Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford), Brass (Leeds City Varieties).

Cast
John Dorney (Doctor Prentice)

Training: LAMDA.


For LCT: Bernard in Boeing Boeing, Geoffrey Jackson in Absurd Person Singular, Salvador Dalí in Hysteria, John in Absent Friends, Mick in The Caretaker, Felix Humble in Humble Boy.
Theatre includes: Flight and Peter Pan (National Theatre), Something Beginning With... (The Orange Tree), Feelgood (English Speaking Theatre of Vienna & English Speaking Theatre of Frankfurt), Better Watch Out (Hampstead Theatre), At the Back and Out of Focus (Soho Theatre), Volpone (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Stranger (Southwark Playhouse), A-Team: The Musical (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh), Coalition (Pleasance Edinburgh & Islington), Beauty and the Beast (Creation, Oxford), On the High Road (RADA Studios), Seasons Greetings (Union Theatre).
Radio includes: Richard in two series of the sitcom My First Planet (Pozzitive for Radio 4), the lead role of Adam Dean in three series of the audio revival of The Omega Factor (Big Finish).


Winner of a BBC Audio Drama award.

Cast
Alana Jackson (Geraldine Barclay)

Training: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Theatre includes: Medea (National Theatre of Scotland/Edinburgh International Festival), Interiors (Barbican Theatre), Living Newspaper (Royal Court Theatre), Metamorphosis (Tron Theatre, Dundee Rep, Eden Court & Traverse Theatre), Mary & Ada Set the World to Rights (Oran Mor).


Television Credits include: Scot Squad (BBC Comedy Unit).

Cast
Jack Lord (Doctor Rance)

Training: Arden School of Theatre, Manchester.


Theatre includes: A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, Romeo & Juliet (Leeds Playhouse), The Book Thief (Leicester Curve/Bolton Octagon/Coventry Belgrade), The Glee Club (Theatre by the Lake), Treasure Island (Bolton Octagon), Clybourne Park, Democracy (Rapture Theatre), West Side Story (Royal Exchange, Manchester), WarHorse (National Theatre/UK Tour), Kiss Me Quickstep (New Vic/Salisbury Playhouse/Oldham Coliseum), The Winter’s Tale (Northern Broadsides/National Tour), The Mist in the Mirror, Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Oldham Coliseum), Rock of Ages (ATG), The Jungle Book, Crime & Punishment (Citizens Theatre Glasgow), Cooking With Elvis (Derby Theatre), Twelfth Night (Grosvenor Open Air Theatre), Our Country’s Good (Original Theatre), Ladies’ Night (Royal Court Liverpool), Grimm Tales, The Glee Club (Library Theatre), Absurd Person Singular (Bolton Octagon), Get Carter (Red Shift), Antony & Cleopatra, Pictures of Clay, Major Barbara, Hobson’s Choice, A Moon for the Misbegotten, King Lear, Rotten Apple (Royal Exchange, Manchester).


Television & Film includes: Red Rose (BBC), Wolfe (Sky), Eternal Law (Kudos), Waterloo Road (Shed Productions), The Street 2 (ITV), Pierrepoint (Granada Films), Coronation Street (Granada), Cold Feet (ITV), Emmerdale (ITV Yorkshire), North Square (Channel 4).

Cast
Jon-Paul Rowden (Sergeant Match)

Theatre includes: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Tilted Wig/Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Crimes on the Coast (New Old Friends/Theatre Royal, Bath), Peter Pan (Visible Fictions/Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), An Unseasonable Fall of Snow (Oxford Fire Station), Andy Capp - The Musical (Finborough), Don’t Walk About With Nothing On (Bridewell Theatre), The Government Inspector (Newcastle Theatre Royal), Dracula (Tea Break Theatre/Arts Council England), The Last Dance (Hoxton Hall), Twelfth Night (The Lord Chamberlain’s Men UK Tour & TNT Theatre World Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing (Petersfield Shakespeare Festival).


Television includes: Elton John: Ten Days That Rocked (Channel 5).

Cast
Holly Smith (Mrs. Prentice)

Training: Guildford School of Acting.


Theatre credits include: The Great Gatsby (Theatre Royal Windsor), The Mirror Crack’d (No. 1 Tour), Don’t Misunderstand Me, Beauty of the Father, Boeing Boeing, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight, Candida (English Theatre of Hamburg), The Odd Couple (Vienna’s English Theatre), Miss Margarida’s Way (Leicester Square Theatre, West End), National Mourning (Theatre 503), Shadowlands (No. 1 Tour), Flare Path (No. 1 Tour), The Hothouse (West End), Teechers (Harrogate Theatre, Haymarket Theatre & Globe Theatre, Warsaw), Blithe Spirit (No. 1 Tour), Out of Order (No. 1 Tour), The Barchester Chronicles (Chichester Festival Theatre), Plaza Suite (Marlborough Theatre), Annie (Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford).
Television credits include: Killing Eve 2 (Sid Gentle Films ltd) Zapped (Baby Cow Productions), Watson & Oliver (BBC), Coming of Age (BBC), The Frame (ITV).


Film credits include: Ghost Stories (Ghost Stories Ltd), Closer (Columbia Pictures), Appearances (Cavendish Fante Pictures).

Gallery

  • What the Butler Saw Cast
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Videos

Watch the trailer here (video credit Paul Keeley-Sandys)

  • '…London Classic Theatre’s touring production directed by Michael Cabot is impressively tight…Orton’s polished lines still raise a laugh, and more than a frisson of discomfort…'

    THE SCOTSMAN
  • '…Joe Orton's classic farce still packs a punch over half a century on…'

    BROADWAY WORLD
  • '…A production packed with energy and pace…a ludicrous and very funny romp…'

    BROADWAY BABY
  • '…The set design was striking…the acting was truly superb…'

    FAIRY POWERED PRODUCTIONS
  • '...What a treat from playwright Joe Orton…this production is fast, funny and furious all the way to the final revelation…'

    WINDSOR EXPRESS
  • '…The cast of six handle the complex plot with great skill, and there are laugh-out-loud moments throughout...”'

    BLACKPOOL GAZETTE