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Chris Shepherd Plate C web.jpg David Quantick

Chris Shepherd's 'Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)'

To mark 50 years since the death of Joe Orton, BAFTA nominated film-maker Chris Shepherd is collaborating with University of Leicester academic, Dr Emma Parker, on an Arts Council-funded project inspired by prank letters of complaint that Orton penned using the pseudonym Mrs Edna Welthorpe.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Orton’s death on 9 August, Chris Shepherd and Emma Parker have organized a special event at The Little Theatre, Leicester, where Orton launched his acting career: ‘Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’.

Acclaimed actor Frances Barber will read Orton’s hilarious Edna Welthorpe letters alongside new Edna letters commissioned from top comedy writers such as Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, The Thick of It), Arthur Mathews (Father Ted) and Caroline Moran (Raised by Wolves). The readings will be followed by a screening of Chris Shepherd’s Edna-inspired animation starring Alison Steadman. Orton’s sister, Leonie Orton Barnett, will share memories of her brother’s comic escapades, and comedian Graham Fellows (John Shuttleworth) will join Emmy Award-winning writer David Quantick (The Fast Show, Brass Eye, Veep) to discuss Orton’s impact on contemporary comedy.

Chris said: “It’s such an honour to be celebrating the life of Joe Orton - one of the greatest British playwrights and my comedy hero. I read his plays as a teenager his naughtiness got me giggling and I’ve been laughing ever since.”

Tickets for ‘Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’ available from The Little Theatre from 1 June 2017:  http://www.thelittletheatre.net/

For a full press release, please contact Kate Haldane

Chris Shepherd / Edna Welthorpe