“You’ll be hearing either from Brian or Paul McCartney. So don’t be surprised if a Beatle rings you up”.

Up Against It was written in 1967 as a film script for The Beatles. As with certain previous works, Orton returned to past manuscripts for ideas, in this case The Silver Bucket (1953, written with Kenneth Halliwell) and The Vision of Gombald Proval (1961), which was published posthumously as Head to Toe.

Mischievously working phallus imagery into the title, Up Against It was based around three characters; Low, the activist; Ramsay, the renegade and McTurk, the nihilist. With the three involved in dubious political activity, transvestism, murder, prison and adultery, the script was quickly rejected.
“No explanation why. No criticism of the script. And apparently, Brian Epstein had no comment to make either. Fuck them”. Joe Orton

Orton’s disappointment however was short lived when the film producer, Oscar Lewenstein, bought the script for £10,000 plus 10% of the producer’s profits.

“I had a last word with Paul M. ‘Well’, I said, ‘I’d like to do the film. There’s only one thing we’ve got to fix up’. ‘You mean the bread?’ ‘Yes’. We smiled and parted. I got a cab home.” Joe Orton

Orton Diary Quotes: © The Orton Estate   Text © Leicester City Council / Orton Quotes: © The Orton Estate  

Copyright Notice: Reproduction of material on Joe Orton Online is not permitted without prior approval from the owner of the
relevant intellectual property rights. For full terms of use click here
Joe Orton Online was created and developed by Alison Forsythe.
Web Design © Alison Forsythe.