'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).