by Joe Orton
click on photos to enlargeThis is Mr. Sloane. Mr. Sloane is what some people might call a "Rent Boy." He is currently looking for a place to say, and so he throws himself upon the kindness of brother and sister Kath and Ed. Both Kath and Ed want to do more than just "entertain" Mr.Sloane, and they are willing to destroy each other to get what they want. But when Kath and Ed's old Dad finds out that Mr. Sloane is not a very nice boy, trouble ensues!
ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE is a thoroughly nasty little comedy!
ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE was condemned and censored when it first appeared in Great Britain in 1964. It has since become one of the world's great classic comedies. The author Joe Orton was hailed as a genius who created a kind of contemporary sexual restoration comedy of manners and politics. The fact that three years later, young Mr. Orton was brutally murdered by his lover to whom the play is dedicated, only adds spice to an already legendary piece of theatre.
Is it possible to laugh wildly and at the same time feel guilty about the subject matter of the laughter? How dark dare satire get before it is no longer funny? These are just some of the questions Mr. Orton asks in "ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE." This is the kind of show that Off The Wall Theatre was created to perform.
Director Dale Gutzman gathered a unique and talented cast for this special production. Starring as Kath, a frustrated frowsy stay at home spinster who cannot keep her eyes or her hands off her new "renter," was Shannon Sloane Spice. Although new to Off The Wall, Ms. Spice is well known to Milwaukee Theatre audiences.
Appearing as Ed, the seedy second rate London business man, whose secret attraction to Mr. Sloane is all too obvious, and whose social chat runs to the subject of male modeling and naked gym workouts was the ever talented Karl Miller. One of the most gifted actors in the city, Mr. Miller has played everything from Adolf Hitler to Hercule Poirot for Off the Wall. Ed is surly his most upsetting and perverse character to date.
As Kemp, the old Dad of the twisted brother and sister, was David Roper. Mr. Roper serves as full time Technical Director at Off the Wall, and makes the occasional stage appearance as actor. Kemp uncovers Mr. Sloane's shady past, and convenes a duel of wits with him, from which one only of them will survive!
And as the young and enormously charming Mr. Sloane, who seems to have difficulty keeping his clothes on and his morals straight was a new young actor on the scene named Alexander Bednall. Sloane must appear to be terribly vulnerable while in actuality, he is totally in control of every situation he engineers! A charismatic new young talent in a very demanding and stimulating role.
Is ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE shock theatre? We have been exposed to so much sex and nudity on television in the last forty years since it was written, that one might think the play rather dated and mild today, but such was the skill of playwright Joe Orton, that the play is as fresh and feisty as it ever was.
Did I mention the metaphysical and political contributions Mr. Orton made to his scripts? Oh yes, the play has something to think about too!