Thursday, March 18, 2010


Just back from a kickass production of Joe Orton's ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE at Publick Theatre Boston! Four Brits directed by Eric Engel ignite this black comedy of cruelty, loneliness, repression, manipulation--it's a laugh riot!No kidding. With blackness to spare.

A handsome young sexual sociopath--Mr. Sloane rents a room in a tidy chintz-infested English row house. It happens to be in the middle of a garbage dump, with generations of refuse festering inside: there's lonely, oversexed, over the hill Kath played by the splendid and much-missed Sandra Shipley, who is flagrantly, hilariously flirtatious with her guest.

The adorably ambiguous Mr.Sloane-part cherub, part thug- is played by the attractive and nimbly talented Jack Cutmore-Scott here making his U.S. professional debut. (Director Eric Engel calls him "the most talented undergraduate...since MATT DAMON). I say WELCOME. Please come for tea.

Nigel Gore plays Kath's angry, sexually repressed brother Ed who also covets Sloane with equal parts stealth and salivation. And finally at the top of the heap is dear old dad, played by Dafydd Rees(thank god I'm not on TV-I'd have to pronounce that)who hasn't spoken to Ed in 20 years-- having once caught his son in the act.

It's a merry-go-round of dark farce and darker forces, each of the characters jockeying for position in a whirligig of shifting power,sex,and violence, and upending British Middle class morality in the process. Love the Beatle songs firmly rooting us in the 60's--but this is a tale for all seasons. See it at Publick Theatre Boston at the BCA through April 3!

Tea anyone?