classes are criminal today. We live in an age of equality”.
Funeral Games was first presented by Yorkshire Television
in August 1968 as part of a series based on ‘The
Seven Deadly Virtues’.
Written in five drafts between July and mid-November 1966,
Funeral Games was the transitional play between Loot and
What the Butler Saw. Orton created such outrageous characters
that he was able to shock his audience with the unexpected
and often grotesque. In one scene, as Tessa puts a cake
for tea on a doily, Caulfield is seen laying down a meat
cleaver whilst carrying a human hand, severed above the
wrist, wrapped in sacking.
Caulfield: I couldn’t get her head off.
It must be glued on.
McCorquodale: She was always a head- strong woman.
The play was written during the most productive period
of Orton’s career. Between October 1966 until his
death in August 1967, he wrote Funeral Games; a film script
for The Beatles, Up Against It; re-writes of The Ruffian
on the Stair and Erpingham Camp, both of which formed
the Crimes of Passion double bill and What The Butler