What would Edna Welthorpe say?
While his anti-establishment plays were the most obvious example of Orton’s flair for mischief, he also had fun as a pseudonymous letter-writer. He employed various pen-names but one in particular has become an established epistolary eponym – Mrs Edna Welthorpe. Read by Alison Steadman, the Edna letters exemplify the clever use of satire to deflate power and expose pretence and hypocrisy. Funny but never nasty, they offer an alternative to hate speech by illustrating how anger can be channelled into humour.