is a 1971 play by Simon Gray
. The title character, a literary professor and T. S. Eliot
scholar, is a suicidal alcoholic
who loses his wife and male lover on the same day. The dark comedy
encompasses several hours in which he bullies students, friends, and colleagues while falling apart at the seams.
It was first produced in 1971 at the Criterion Theatre in London's West End under the direction of Harold Pinter, with Alan Bates in the title role.
Bates reprised his performance the following year in a Broadway production directed by James Hammerstein at the Morosco Theatre, where it ran for 14 previews and 135 performances. Bates won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance, and Gray was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.
A 1974 film adaptation Butley (film) directed by Pinter starred Alan Bates, Jessica Tandy, Richard O'Callaghan, Susan Engel, and Michael Byrne.
A 2006 limited-run Broadway revival at the Booth Theatre was directed by Nicholas Martin. It starred Nathan Lane and Dana Ivey, who was nominated for the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.