Monday, February 01, 2010

Entertaining Mr Sloane. This weekend

Entertaining Mr Sloane opens this Friday at the theatre for a five night run as you have probably seen from the publicity in the local papers.

The play first premiered in 1964 and established Joe Orton as one of the most important writers of farce in the 20th century. This was not immediately apparent to the audiences of the time who had to adjust to a very different take on farce.  Despite Orton’s professed admiration for Pinter as the only English playwright worth his salt it was Sir Terence Rattigan who recognized a major talent he admired and came to the rescue with both financial and critical support which ensured the play’s success.  Pinter's influence on Orton didn't hinder him developing his own distinctive style. An Ortonesque farce is one that turns grotesque, explicitly sexual and purposefully shocking. They are satires on the hypocrisy and cruelty of middle class England  full of self mockery, frank lust, exaggerated fantasy and a little casual brutality. They are also very funny.
Sloane is a young, attractive man who is invited home as a lust object/surrogate son by Kath. Her father, Kemp, recognizes him as the youth who may have murdered his last employer meanwhile her brother Ed would like to take him under his wing and employ him as a live in chauffeur and….
Sloane manipulates this situation to his advantage playing parlour power games with a sadistic relish but in attempting to manipulate brother and sister to his advantage he ends as their victim. Or does he? In this battle for territory has he manipulated the situation to his own advantage? 
The play has been described as wild, witty and utterly heartless. In this production the director is Peter Mitchell and the cast is Lizz Freeman, John David Gale, Francis Butler and Graham Cherry. Despite the first four names and the title, if you have got this far you will know it is not a musical.

This post shows in February. Don't forget to look at the last post in January for details of our visit to the Almond Blossoms and spectacular scenery of the Genal Valley

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