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Entertaining Mr. Sloane

A brilliant brute of a black comedy

Written by Joe Orton
Directed by Brendan Healy

Stuart Hughes, David Beazely and Fiona Reid in Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Desire is a powerful weapon in English playwright Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane, a harsh commentary on the hypocrisies in liberal society, now playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts as part of Soulpepper’s summer season. Written almost 50 years ago in 1964, this twisted comedy about a lonely landlady and her brother who entice a young man with a dark past into a bizarre sexual arrangement is still scandalous today, and the violent nature of the piece serves as a haunting reminder of the playwright's tragic murder at the age of 34 (he was bludgeoned to death by his long-time lover Kenneth Halliwell).

Directed by Buddies in Bad Times artistic director Brendan Healy, this challenging production is staged in the round, featuring David Beazely in the role of the psychopath lodger Sloane, Fiona Reid as the needy Kath, Stuart Hughes as her controlling brother Ed, and Michael Simpson as their elderly father Kemp. Each member of the cast performs terrifically well, transporting us to a working-class neighbourhood (East London) with convincing accents and garish passions that match Yannik Larivee's blood-red set. At the same time, Richard Feren's rock 'n' roll sound design adds an extra layer of brooding melancholy. This is a horribly disturbing yet undeniably funny story that possesses the ability to shock and entertain in equal measure.

Entertaining Mr. Sloane runs until August 17 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.


Show Dates: 
Wed, 2013-07-17 - Sat, 2013-08-17
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