Portrait of Joe by John Haynes at the 1966 London producton of Loot.

John Haynes has been a theatrical photographer since 1965. He was invited to photograph productions at the Actor's Sudio attached to the Royal Court, the first commission in a long association with the theatre. His portraits of Samuel Beckett were published by Cambridge University Press in 2003 and exhibited at the National Theatre.

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Some of my first production photography was working for 'The London Traverse Company', then based at the Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre in Southampton Row, Holborn.

Employed to photograph 'Loot' I took some rehearsal pictures and Charles Marowitz, the director, asked me to take some portaits of Joe Orton the dramatist. These I took alongside the theatre, but then seeking something more interesting I asked Joe to stand in front of the poster, never realising the prophetic nature of the words written graphically to describe the play on the poster:- 'Murder' and 'Death'.

He was extemely easy to photograph, talked all the time, very chirpy. I had just installed my first answering machine at home and Joe would ring leaving very saucy messages. Although I do not remember the words now, they were very funny.

My last sighting of him was the first night of 'Loot' - he and Kenneth Halliwell arriving in matching suits except for the colour; one orange, one purple.

Image © John Haynes with kind permission   Text © John Haynes  

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