English Language Theatre: Entertaining Mr. Sloane by Joe Orton
Wegens succes verlengd: 3 extra dagen.
Prolonging because of success: 3 extra days.
Early Bird tickets available now until the end of March: 10 euros a ticket.
Review by Tom Wigham ….Entertaining Mr Sloane written by Joe Orton (1963) , Played by Badhuistheater International directed by Mike Manicardi
Emotion was running high after the curtain went down on Entertaining Mr Sloane,in 1963 , some of it bordering on outrage. But then, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sex comedy.
It’s North London, 1963. Enter Mr Sloane, a charming young drifter who takes up residence with Kath, a middle-aged, working-class landlady, and her father, KEMP (Paddy O‘Connell) who has a curious feeling he’s met Mr Sloane in a previous life. Kath (Roos Dros) quickly seduces the young Mr Sloane, but finds she has competition when her gangster brother Ed (Dennis Burke) takes a shine to him and employs Sloane as his chauffeur. Sloane, meanwhile, is happily ensconced and worms his way deeper into the family, ultimately with dire consequences.
True to form, Mike’s Badhuistheater ( Boerhaaveplein in Amsterdam Oost) has put together a smashing performance of Joe Orton’s uproarious comedy. Sloane, ( Eoin Cunningham,) carries himself with an air of gentle mischief which turns gradually more pugnacious, while Ed’s struggle with his sexuality is palpable. And then there is Kath’s downright disturbing relationship with Sloane, with an Oedipal twist to challenge even the most avant-garde of audiences.
It’s worth remembering that Orton’s play first appeared in 1964, three years before homosexuality ceased to be a crime in the UK, and you can imagine the shock it must have caused audiences on first viewing. The fact that it still carries this sense of shock and outrage is remarkable in itself. Attitudes have changed, of course, and the benefit of hindsight gives us a different perspective on some of the struggles being played out on stage, but in light of the renewed attacks on homosexuality and women’s rights in many corners of the world, the play remains as relevant as ever.
In the end, Ed’s suppressed desires are not the only thing which is being concealed. Orton’s play is an exercise in concealment and thwarted discovery: What’s the nature of Ed’s business? Who was Kemp’s employer? How has Kath’s previous life influenced her present? And who actually is Mr Sloane?
Mike’s cast, for their part, have captured the hilarity and depravity of Orton’s comedy, but they have made it their own, with a gut-wrenching twist which imbues the play with a somewhat darker tone than is often the case, and in a sense is closer to what Orton probably intended.
The Badhuistheater’s intimate setting is ideal for a play whose drama is largely played out in the small confines of a living room. The characters are almost close enough to reach out and touch, and at that distance their every emotion is on display – and a little extra too. Make sure you stick around for a drink afterwards – you’re almost certain to bump into the cast and the production staff who are always up for a chat. It’s a real treat to get an insight into the process of putting these characters together, and the journey of discovery the actors themselves have embarked upon in bringing their characters to life.
Due to popular demand, Mr Sloane is entertaining again for three nights in May 24,25,26 . It comes highly recommended. ( see info about the show www.badhuistheater.nl
Mike’s Badhuistheater presents the Sex Comedy of the Swinging ’60’s “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” by Joe Orton (1933-1967). Directed by Mike Manicardi.
Klik hier voor een introductie van het stuk gemaakt door Oost Online met interviews met Michael Manicardi (regisseur), en de acteurs van het stuk: Roos Dros, Eóin Ó Cuinneagáin, Paddy O’Connell and Denis Burke.
Een analyse in het Nederlands van Entertaining Mr. Sloane door Bob Vinkenoog (acteur bij Toneelgroep Toetssteen):
Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Engelse zestiger jaren toneelhit
De ongemakkelijk schrijnende, loeispannende zwarte komedie Entertaining Mr. Sloane, geschreven door Joe Orton, ging op 6 mei 1963 in Londen in première en is sindsdien een van de populaire Engelse toneelwerken.
De producties speelden nooit veel langer dan een paar maanden, waarschijnlijk doordat het de Engelsen wel erg rechtstreeks confronteerde met hun, nog immer zoveel mogelijk verborgen, maar algemeen gekoesterde duistere driften.
Het stuk wordt in de loop der jaren steeds meer gewaardeerd en vaak opnieuw in productie genomen. Het is nu in het magische Badhuistheater te zien in de uitstekende regie van Michael Manicardi.
De jonge, aantrekkelijke Mr. Sloane huurt een kamer bij de net nog niet middelbare Kath en haar blinde oude vader, in hun armoedig maar proper huis dat midden op een vuilnisbelt staat. Al snel wordt hij het middelpunt van steeds verder uit de hand lopende verwikkelingen.
Het stuk staat bol van de langzaam oplopende erotische spanning die steeds bijna, maar net niet helemaal explodeert.
Je zit je vingers op te eten en wil eigenlijk helemaal niet lachen, maar je moet wel. De toeschouwer kan op verzoek aan de stoel worden vastgebonden om te voorkomen dat de oh, zo naïeve Mr. Sloane vroegtijdig wordt gewurgd en op de belt gedumpt.
Na de voorstelling kan men warme troost vinden in Mike’s uitstekende bieren.
De voorstelling is Engelstalig.
When Entertaining Mr. Sloane first appeared on the London stage in 1964, Great Britain was a very different place.
This rage against society’s hypocrisy polarised the critics at a time when the death penalty was still in force, homosexuality and abortions were illegal and racism was endemic. Legendary Leicester enfant terrible, Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane, takes a pop at all of them.
Why is Entertaining Mr. Sloane such an interesting play? Michael Manicardi, director, tells about it in this video.
At the time of writing “Sloane “ Joe and his lover would have been criminals for their Illegal relationship.
Some historical facts:
In 1960, the minister of War, John Profumo, was forced to resign when news came out that he was sleeping with the same woman, Christine Keeler, who was also sleeping with the Russian chief attaché at the Russian embassy in London. Keeler was crucified in the press as a sex slave, her contact committed suicide or was murdered, when it appears now (she died two months ago) that she was probably spying and getting information for the Russians at the height of the Cold War. Orton’s play premiered in spring 1964 and by autumn 1964 the Labour government of Harold Wilson was in power, which would decriminalize homosexuality and abolish Capital Punishment. The swinging ’60’s were definitely NOT swinging for the characters in Joe’s play. We mustn’t forget that London was also in the grips of the KRAYS. Sexuality, politics and crime were serious bedfellows.
About the play
The fast vicious comedy starts with the arrival of a new lodger at Kath’s Flat, where she lives with her old Father. Kath is immediately physically attracted to the young Sloane, but her criminal brother Ed also has interest in Sloane. The hilarious plot thickens. Entertaining Mr. Sloane is regarded as a piece of Classic English comedy, and probably the best Play Orton wrote in his short life.
Mike Manicardi directs the Badhuistheater International. The company has produced several exceptional, original and sold-out productions in the last years at their unique home theatre: the Badhuis Amphitheatre. Many intimate theatre productions (80-100 seats) from Dutch and International companies have premiered here: i.e. Blackadder, ‘Allo ‘Allo, and the O’ Casey Dublin Trilogy of Plays.
Cast of Entertaining Mr. Sloane
Denis Burke – Ed (Blackadder, Jackie Clitheroe – Plough and the Stars, Flick – ‘Allo ‘Allo, Donal – Shadow of a Gunman)
Paddy O’Connell – Kemp (Blackadder, Captain Boyle – Juno and the Paycock, Seamus Shields – Shadow of a Gunman)
Roos Dros – Kath (Blackadder, Yvet – ‘Allo ‘Allo)
Eoin O’Cunningham – Sloane (Baldrick – Blackadder, Bertorelli – ‘Allo ‘Allo)
Decor design Tonnie van der Kamp
Joe Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967) was an English playwright and author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death three years later. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies.
Published: March 19, 2018