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