What The Butler Saw

Lunatics are melodramatic. The subtletie

Dr. Rance

What The Butler Saw


Age Range
Act Two
Time & Place
Psychiatrist’s office, England, 1960s
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Mrs. Prentice and Dr. Rance have just entered the consulting room and found the

Monologue Text

Lunatics are melodramatic. The subtleties of drama are wasted on them. The ugly shadow of anti-Christ stalks this house. Having discovered her Father/Lover in Dr Prentice the patient replaces him in a psychological re-shuffle by that archetypal Father-figure--the Devil himself. Everything is now clear. The final chapters of my book are knitting together: incest, buggery, outrageous women and strange love-cults catering for depraved appetites. All the fashionable bric-a-brac. A beautiful but neurotic girl has influenced the doctor to sacrifice a white virgin to propitiate the dark gods of unreason. ‘When they broke into the evil-smelling den they found her poor body bleeding beneath the obscene and half-erect phallus.’ My ‘unbiased’ account of the case of the infamous sex-killer Prentice will undoubtedly add a great deal to our understanding of such creatures. Society must be made aware of the growing menace of pornography. The whole treacherous avant-garde movement will be exposed for what it is--an instrument for inciting decent citizens to commit bizarre crimes against humanity and the state! You have, underneath your roof, my dear, one of the most remarkable lunatics of all time. We must institute a search for the corpse. As a transvestite, fetishist, bi-sexual murderer Dr Prentice displays considerable deviation overlap. We may get necrophilia too. As a sort of bonus.

Joe Orton. “What The Butler Saw”. Complete Plays. Methuen, 1983, pp.427-8.

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