Task 2: Research, character Review, (Entertaining Mr. Sloane)

I have finished reading both ‘Entertaining Mr. Sloane’,  I want to research if myself and other people who have watched the play on stage or read the play, have a similar opinion to me about the characters. I enjoyed reading ‘Entertaining Mr. Sloane’ because the characters are outrageous, mad and larger then life. Its a comedy but it shows the length people will go to get what they want. The contrast between right and wrong. I say this because there is a murder in the play but none of the characters seem terribly fazed. I think the character I have been allocated to play Mr. Sloane is charming but doesn’t seem to know his right from wrong, which makes him dangerous and unprincipled. However I like this character because he makes the piece exciting to read because you don’t know what he will do next to get what he wants!

The play was on at Trafalgar Studios, London in 2009. TheGuardian Online put this review about Sloane as a character.

with bleached hair and cocksure manner, plays the eponymous hero, a charismatic young thug who exerts an hypnotic appeal on his mothering landlady, Kath, and her homosexual brother, Ed. Even if there have been more visibly magnetic Sloanes, what Horne conveys very well is the character’s psychological and physical ruthlessness: he visibly enjoys playing parlour power-games and shows a sadistic relish in beating Kath and Ed’s dad to a senseless pulp.

They have said the actor, Mathew Horne, in this production, managed to capture Mr. Sloane’s, physical ruthlessness. Which from reading the play is something I noticed about the character, the way he plays mind games with the other characters throughout the play.

However not everyone thinks Mr. Sloane is all bad. Erica Dupuy, a tutor on the performing and production arts course at West Suffolk College, directed ‘Entertaining Mr. Sloane’ so in order for me to develop a greater understanding for the character I interviewed Erica to find out her opinion of the character. She says that after reading the play you can’t deny that the things Sloane does are wrong, however Sloane was in a care home and didn’t have the best up bringing. Erica doesn’t like Mr. Sloane, but there may be a reason for the madness. Even though the reader or director doesn’t know if Mr. Sloane was ever really in a home and could well be making it up to play mind games on the other characters. In the monologue I have been allocated, he is confessing to murder, he starts by talking indicating he was in a home. I think Sloane uses this as a defense, to make people think he has had a tough upbringing and as a result he does bad things.

Erica said Sloane is the most fun character to direct, because you don’t know what you’re going to get with him. This is the only play I have read of Joe Orton’s, but from what Erica explained to me about the Orton’s life is that wasn’t far from the characters he writes about. I find this particularly interesting because if i’m ever in need of extra research I can look at the life of Joe Orton.

I think from my research and the interview with Erica, I have realized I don’t know if Sloane was born as a psychopath or is the way he is because of his circumstances growing up. Once you realized how he works you don’t know if you can trust anything he says and this is what makes him such an exciting character to play. Next, I will look at the life of Joe Orton, I would like to find out if the up bringing and circumstances of the writer reflect the characters he writes about. Not everyone thinks Sloane is pure evil, however I think Sloane is certainly not normal, whoever and however you play the character the writing of Orton means Sloane will never appear normal or likable to the people watching.

Referencing:

The Guardian. 2017. Theatre review: Entertaining Mr Sloane / Trafalgar Studios, London | Stage | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2009/feb/02/entertaining-mr-sloane-review. [Accessed 31st March, 2017].

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