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21 October - 17 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Joe Orton’s Leicester by Bike

Joe Orton’s Leicester by Bike

Lifelong wellbeing theme

What’s on offer?

A 10-mile cycle tour of Leicester with talks about leading twentieth century playwright Joe Orton (1933-1967). The ride features 9 stops at significant sites with readings from Orton's unpublished teenage diary. Sites include Orton's family home on the Saffron Lane estate, The Little Theatre where he discovered his passion for drama, and Orton Square. We break at the Pork Pie Library (refreshments and toilets available) and the tour ends at the University of Leicester with a chance to look at material in the Orton archive, such as Orton’s unpublished teenage diary, scrapbooks, unpublished letters and draft scripts.

Rickshaws and side-by-side bikes are available for non-cyclists.

What’s it about?

The tour will explain how growing up in Leicester shaped Orton’s work. Although Orton became a celebrated writer in London, this tour will demonstrate that he was made in Leicester. The talks also draw on Parker’s research to retell the story about Orton’s death. The prevailing narrative proposes that Orton’s partner, Kenneth Halliwell, murdered him out of personal and professional jealousy, but medical attitudes and laws related to the LGBTQ community in the Sixties suggest an alternative interpretation.

Who’s leading the event?

The event will be led by Dr Emma Parker, Associate Professor (Reader) in Postwar and Contemporary literature at the University of Leicester

Open to

Open to all (16 years +), Rickshaws and side-by-side bikes are available for non-cyclists.

Of particular interest to

This community ride will be of particular interest to those keen to learn more about local history.  The ride provides a great opporunity to meet new people, explore the local area and have fun riding your bike.

Event booking deadline

Booking will close when the ride is full (maximum of 20 participants)