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Prick Up Your Ears

A daring and surprisingly fresh biopic of rebel playwright Joe Orton (an excellent Gary Oldman).

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, Stephen Frears is no longer available to take part in a Q&A following the screening on Friday 4 August 18:00. We apologise for any disappointment.

Image from Prick Up Your Ears

Photograph: Park Circus/ITV Studios

UK 1987
Dir Stephen Frears
With Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave, Wallace Shawn, Julie Walters
Certificate 15
A Park Circus release

Prick Up Your Ears still feels as daring and fresh as it did on its release 30 years ago. Adapted by Alan Bennett from John Lahr’s biography of rebel playwright Joe Orton, the film has two outstanding lead performances. Gary Oldman plays the charming Orton, who was the toast of the London stage in the mid-60s, delighting and shocking audiences with his biting satires Loot, What the Butler Saw and Entertaining Mr Sloane. Alfred Molina is Orton’s stolid and resentful partner Kenneth Halliwell. Orton, a true iconoclast, is blatantly unfaithful to his partner – cruising subways and public lavatories – and the older, stuffier Halliwell comes to regret encouraging this behaviour. Stephen Frears brilliantly captures all the nuances in this bleak and ultimately tragic relationship.

Julie Pearce, Head of Distribution and Programme Operations

Also available on BFI Player.

See our Joe Orton season.


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