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About

By Joe Orton

Directed by Michael Cabot

Within the pristine walls of his private psychiatric clinic, Doctor Prentice is interviewing a new secretary.  Geraldine wants the position but seems underqualified and uncertain about her parentage.  Mrs Prentice appears, flushed and in urgent need of a drink, following an illicit encounter with Nick Beckett, blackmailer and bell boy at the Station Hotel.  In the meantime, Doctor Rance, a Government Inspector and Sergeant Match, a policeman, arrive amidst increasing chaos with searching questions of their own.

What the Butler saw is Joe Orton’s final, most ambitious play, manic farce and masterclass in fearless comic writing.  No institution, political view or tradition is safe, as Orton focuses his wicked sense of humour on a range of targets, including the establishment, an ex-Prime Minister, cross-dressing, misogyny and the medical profession.  He brings together an array of distinctive characters, placing them in a series of improbable situations, unflinchingly exploring comic territory few playwrights before or since have dared to visit. 

John Kingsley (Joe) Orton, playwright, author and diarist was born in Leicester in 1933.  During a short, but dazzling career in the London theatre world, he shocked, outraged, and delighted audiences with his riotous black comedies, including Loot, The Erpingham Camp, The Ruffian on the Stair and Entertaining Mr Sloane. Joe Orton was battered to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, in 1967.

Contains strong language and subject matter which the playwright very much hoped audiences would find offensive.

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Guide Prices

Wed - Fri Evenings £20.00 - £25.50
Sat Evening £23.50 - £27.50
Thurs & Sat Matinee £23, £24.50

Concessions £1.50 off (Top 2 prices, apply Wed - Fri 7.45pm only)

Under 16s & Students £10

Under 25s £15

Groups 10+ 10% off (Top 2 prices, apply Wed - Fri 7.45pm only)

Friends of DPT 25% (First 2 nights only)

Ovation Plus & Premium Members 10% off (Max 4 tickets, Wed - Fri only)

Prices inclusive of £2 per ticket booking fee

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  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

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  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)

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  • On-site light refreshments

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  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups

Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Parking with charge

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  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

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Map & Directions

What The Butler Saw

Type:Live entertainment

Devonshire Park Theatre, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BW
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Devonshire Park TheatreDevonshire Park Theatre, EastbourneThe Devonshire Park Theatre is a Grade II listed building designed by Henry Currey, built in 1884 and further improved by celebrated Theatre Architect Frank Matcham in 1903. The theatre has a seating capacity of 936.

Eastbourne Visitor Centre, Welcome Building, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP

01323 415415

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