What The Butler Saw

by Joe Orton


2 October – 3 November


“You were born with your legs apart. They’ll send you to the grave in a Y-shaped coffin.”

Libidos run riot in this darkest of farces, stuffed full of twists and turns, mishaps and changes of fortune, coincidences and lunatic logic, as six characters gradually lose the plot, their wits and/or their clothes.

Orton lays out a smorgasbord of politically-incorrect taboos in deliberately bad taste, attacking society’s hypocrisy and the established order with his delicious brand of outrageous and subversive provocation.

Highly controversial when it premiered in 1969, What The Butler Saw retains its ability to shock, even though what society deemed unacceptable 50 years ago has fluctuated over time. The play remains a joyous and very, very silly celebration of queerness.

Following our production of Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane in 2012, we are delighted to be giving this, his final play, a long-overdue Sydney revival.

“Joe Orton’s richest and funniest play” Michael Billington

creative team

Director Danielle Maas
Production Designer Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Lighting Designer Martin Kinnane
Sound Designer Georgia Condon
Assistant Costume Designer Aeva O’Dea
Assistant Set Designer Tom Bannerman
Accent Coach Alistair Toogood

Production Manager Gundega Lapsa
Production Assistant Mark G Nagle
Stage Manager Angela Atkinson
Assistant Stage Manager Bernadette Fam


Madeleine Carr, Jake Fryer-Hornsby
Andrew Guy, Martin Quinn
Ariadne Sgouros, Amrik Tumber


Previews (2 & 3 October) 7:30pm
Thursday – Saturday 7:30pm
Sunday 5pm
Saturday 3 November 2pm only


Full $35
Concessions, Groups (6+) $30
New Theatre Members $22
Previews, Thrifty Thursdays $20

School Groups $22
Accompanying teachers free
Bookings manager@newtheatre.org.au

“A brilliant subversive vision in how it serves the play … This is a perfectly reimagined 21st century take on a 20th century identity politics play … The energetic ensemble play off each other in this four-door farce with wonderful comedy and timing … A very smart, clever, funny production … Orton would have been proud and excited – it hits every mark.”  Theatre Now

“Fast-paced and hilarious. The gender-swapped cast are full of energy and charisma. It’s one of the best shows to be put on at New Theatre this year and is a guaranteed fun night out!” Theatre Travels

“Director Danielle Mass has brought Orton’s provocative attack on hypocrisy somersaulting into 2018 with her cunning cross casting and precision-based direction. She has swept together the farce and the facetious in a production that heightens Orton’s comic genius … Subverting the genders serves to make the production just that bit funnier and more farcical.”  Stage Whispers

“The cast are superb, with excellent chemistry, connection and intimacy between their diverse characters …  Clever choices from the production team and director make this play a carefully constructed and nuanced treasure. Very well done.” SOYP

“Director Danielle Maas has successfully embellished on Joe Orton’s points to bring into being an obvious provocation that is beautifully timed and exquisitely performed by her excellent cast.”  Lisa Thatcher

Fast-paced, bright, tightly-acted and humorous”  Absolute Theatre



Main image: © Eugenesergeev/Dreamstime
Production photos: © Bob Seary