Joe Orton is still scandalous, homoerotic, and very funny.
There's no butler in What the Butler Saw. The phrase comes from a British divorce case in 1886, in which a butler peered through a keyhole to see his employer having an adulterous affair in the dining room. It became a catchphrase for risque sex.
A psychiatrist, Dr. Prentice, tries to seduce Geraldine, who is interviewing for a job as a secretary. His wife, Mrs. Prentice, has promised the job to her lover (and blackmailer), the bellhop Nicholas.
A government inspector and a police officer arrive.
There's crossdressing, incest, mistaken identities, homoeroticism, nudity (if the production is particularly daring, full frontal nudity), and Winston Churchill's penis. What more could you want in an evening at the theater?
Blackpool), Nick Hendrix (top photo), Parry Glasspool, and Ewan McGregor (left).
It's been filmed once, a 1987 BBC adaption starring Tyler Butterworth as Nicholas.
If you can't find a stage performance, there's always a print version.