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Entertaining Mr Sloane

Banbury Cross Players presented Entertaining Mr Sloane by Joe Orton in March 1977. The play was presented at College Theatre, Banbury.

Entertaining Mr Sloane Programme Front

(Programme Page 2)


Terence Rattigan, writing about this play, called it “the best first play he’d seen in thirty-odd years.” Many people did not share this opinion. Emile Littler and Peter Cadbury damned “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” as a dirty highbrow play.

It was written by a young man who did not follow the generally accepted views of society, and we must acknowledge the deep and driving sexual force which dominates the characters he has created. It is not enough that we deplore or condemn their behaviour, or that we take refuge in saying “they are not normal”. We must consider not only what is normal behaviour, but whether we fit into the pattern. War and murder: the exploitation of the under-privileged: the condemnation of many of our fellow humans to a miserable existence due to poverty and homelessness — is that our “normality”?

Considering this, how can we comment on normality itself? The situations in the play not only open up a theme we may not be familiar with, but they must give us cause to consider and assess the social climate in which we live. Because it is unusual, because it deals with a difficult theme, let us not close our eyes and minds to the fact that it represents real people who live in our world. Therefore this play should make us think, examine our behaviour, and justify our beliefs and personal principles.

No reasonable intelligent person believes in murder and the corruption of the young, but by the same intelligent reasoning the ideas and the psycho-logical troubles of other humans should not be condemned through unthinking and narrow-minded prejudice, which could be the product of our class-consciousness, our age, or the unrealistic claim that our behaviour is the only normal behaviour.

Whatever our response to the play, we should find cause to smile, perhaps to laugh. It certainly will give us the opportunity to discuss and argue the pro’s and con’s of its theme, and comment about the behaviour of the characters. To adapt a line of Ed’s:

“Well, it’s been a pleasant evening —
see you at our next production.”

Arthur S. Massey

Entertaining Mr Sloane Programme Back
Entertaining Mr Sloane Programme Page 3


Kath – Margaret Mallace
Sloane – TIm Conrad
Kemp – Bob Clement
Ed – Roy Dant
The play directed by Arthur S. Massey

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