BWW Reviews: ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, July 3 2014
This production of Entertaining Mr Sloane is the latest submission from London Classic Theatre. Joe Orton wrote the play in 1963 and the show had its first performance the following year at the New Arts Theatre in London, followed by an opening in New York in 1965. His writing has both comedic and psychological elements to it and the written text is constructed very well. Mr Sloane is renting a room in Kath's home on the edge of a rubbish dump. She lives with her visually impaired father who instantly takes a dislike to the lodger, thinking he murdered his employer years before. Kath seduces Mr Sloane and her brother soon also latches onto her lover and both embark on an interesting relationship with the title character.
Simon Kenny's design is very detailed and is reflective of the lifestyle led by the characters alongside the literal sense. An array of household furniture is stacked up forming the perimeters of the stage with a solitary sofa and armchair representing the living room. The set is static throughout but did not require any additional transformation. Not a great deal needed to be done with the lighting but Andy Grange made sure the setting was sufficiently realised.
The four strong cast are all very competent in their acting performances. Paul Sandys as Mr Sloane has the perfect balance of split personality and is very believable in the role. Kath played by Pauline Whitaker is excellent in extracting the correct amount of wit from Orton's text and Nicholas Gasson as Kath's father, Kemp, is more than capable playing the older character. Occasionally Jonathan Ashley as brother Ed can be a little overbearing but he certainly channels the angst in the piece.
Entertaining Mr Sloane plays at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry until 5 July where the tour concludes.