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Joe Orton Statue

Funded on Spacehive 27 November 2019

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Joe Orton Statue

Joe Orton Statue Appeal CIC By Joe Orton Statue Appeal CIC

Help raise money to erect a statue of legendary playwright Joe Orton in his hometown of Leicester and ensure that this inspirational literary genius is remembered for generations to come.

Leicester Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 27 Nov 2019!

'The idea that in Orton Square there should be a statue, a memorial to Joe Orton, is terrific' (Sir Ian McKellen) Pledge now to help commemorate one of Britain's most important and influential writers. We will commission a statue of Joe Orton from a leading sculptor. We will run community engagement events in Leicester to involve the public in the design of the statue, invite artists to submit a design, shortlist the best three, then commission the chosen artist to make a statue of Joe Orton for Orton Square, outside Curve theatre. The statue will reflect Orton's cheeky iconoclasm. Your pledge will help to ensure that the extraordinary life, work and legacy of this working class, gay writer are permanently commemorated in the city of his birth. Any funds raised beyond our 100K target will be used to run Joe Orton-related creative writing /arts events in Leicester. This appeal is endorsed by Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry and Sheila Hancock, amongst others.

What we'll deliver:

  • Community engagement events to raise awareness and encourage public involvement
  • Artists’ brief and shortlist
  • A statue

Why it's a great idea:

Born and raised in Leicester, Joe Orton became a leading twentieth century playwright. His riotous black comedies - Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What the Butler Saw - won major awards in their day and have since been performed all over the world. Orton's diary is an extraordinary account of what it was like to be a gay man in the 1960s before the decriminalisation of homosexuality. A statue of Orton will celebrate a gay icon & ensure that a great writer is not forgotten. It will raise awareness of Leicester’s rich literary heritage, celebrate diversity and inclusivity, and serve as an inspirational reminder that talent is everywhere and art is for everyone. The statue will encourage interest in the arts & theatre, and attract tourists to Leicester. Donors will receive some unique and very special rewards - see below. Rewards are conditional on meeting the 100K target. All donors will be thanked personally on the Joe Orton website.

Steps to get it done:

  • Establish a community engagement focus group to raise local awareness and gather public input on design of the statue
  • Produce brief for sculptors and invite submission of designs
  • Commission the statue

***REWARDS*** (see images) £5: 1 Orton badge £10: 1 badge + 1 postcard of a portrait of Orton £20: 3 badges (Orton, Sloane, Loot) £50: Limited edition Orton tote bag £75: Signed copy of Leonie Orton's memoir, I Had It In Me + badge £100: Tote + memoir £150: Private view of the Orton archive (University of Leicester), cheese & wine (16 max) £250: Unframed, limited edition print of Orton by Stewy (93x60cm), tote, badge £500: Stewy print, private view of Orton archive with cheese & wine, memoir, tote, badge £1,000: Dinner (set menu) with one of Orton's two sisters in Leicester OR with actor Kenneth Cranham in London (max 8 guests at each dinner) £2,000: Have your photograph taken wearing Orton's coat (NB 50 inch chest max) OR his Evening Standard award in the Orton archive with Leonie Orton £5,000: Kenneth Cranham, Orton's friend & star of Loot & Sloane, will visit your house (Engl, Scot and Wales only) for 1hr, share memories & read from The Orton Diaries (2 available).

Location Leicester

About the space

Custom Location


Leicester City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £116,619

Statue production - £90,000 (77%)
Marketing, PR, Events - £5,009 (4%)
Community Engagement - £3,000 (3%)
Campaign administration - £2,339 (2%)
Film for Space Hive appeal - £2,000 (2%)
Launch invitations and marketing - £1,800 (2%)
Prints for rewards - 10 x £150 - £1,500 (1%)
Launch catering - £1,300 (1%)
Bags, badges, postcards for rewards - £1,100 (1%)
Design (logo, posters, GIFs for launch) - £780 (1%)
Other - £7,791 (7%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Statue production
Marketing, PR, Events
Community Engagement
Campaign administration
Film for Space Hive appeal
Launch invitations and marketing
Prints for rewards - 10 x £150
Launch catering
Bags, badges, postcards for rewards
Design (logo, posters, GIFs for launch)
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees
  • Launch venue, staff, tech
  • Photographer - Sir Ian McKellen, launch, unveiling
  • 5 copies of Leonie Orton's memoir, I Had It In Me


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • A programme of community events and workshops focused on developing young people's writing.

Total £116,619

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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