Entertaining Mr Sloane by Joe Orton, The Arts Theatre, 27 January 2001

After the hoo-ha of being grounded from the Royal Court revival of this play in 1975, Entertaining Mr Sloane had been on my bucket list (not that bucket lists had been invented back then) for more than a quarter of a century.

So the chance to see Alison Steadman reprise the role of Kath at the Arts Theatre seemed too good to miss.  I recall she was a very good Kath, ably supported by Neil Stuke as Sloane, Bryan Pringle as Kemp and Clive Francis as Ed.  Variety magazine was less sure about Steadman, but still rated the production.

Did the play still have what it takes, nearly 40 years on?  Michael Billington certainly thought so.  Janie wasn’t so sure – she’s never been convinced by Orton. I thought this one worked better than the revival of What the Butler Saw at the National, which I recall disappointed me, so I didn’t find it dated; but  Tom Keatinge did.

But who cares – I’ve seen the play now and mum couldn’t stop me this time.

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