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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
Joe Orton lived and died here
Macabre comic and playwright Joe Orton lived and died here.
Location: 25 Noel Road, Islington, London
Description: The playwright Joe Orton (1933-67) lived here from 1960 where he had a stormy relationship with his lover, Kenneth Halliwell.
Orton was celebrated for anarchic plays such as Loot and What the Butler Saw, but his personal life was fraught with the jealousy of Halliwell at his success and of Orton's promiscuous relations elsewhere.
A lack of serious work led them to amuse themselves with pranks and hoaxes. In 1962 they were jailed for taking books out the Islington library and defacing them in an amusing manner.
In August 1967 Halliwell battered Orton to death with a hammer and then took his own life with a Nembutal overdose.