Joe Orton was born on a housing estate in Leicester in 1933. He joined RADA in 1951, where he met his mentor and lover Kenneth Halliwell. Living on the dole (and briefly in prison, for defacing library books) the two collaborated on novels, though Orton's solo writing brought him more fame. During his short life he rose to fame as one of England's most provocative young dramatists and epitomised London in the swinging 1960s. His openly gay lifestyle has turned him into an iconic figure. He was murdered by Halliwell in 1967.