Joe Orton was a very brave and talented artist who was tragically taken from the world far too soon. The tragic victim of murder the young writer has the chance at being forever immortalized with a statue in his home town of Leicester. The project was started by Dr Emma Parker, a Joe Orton expert and professor at the University of Leicester who is determined to keep his memory alive. Several famous celebrities have also thrown their names behind the project such as Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry and Alec Baldwin.
Sir Ian McKellen said: “The idea that in Orton Square there should be a statue, a memorial to Joe Orton is terrific.”
Stephen Fry said: “Joe Orton has always been a hero to me, both in his work and in the authenticity, wit and wonder of his life. A statue is a wonderful idea.
There is a public donation fund here and they are currently looking £120,000 yet it looks like they will achieve that pretty quickly. But for anyone looking to donate there are some intensives such as:
£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).
So what are you waiting for?