Wednesday, 14 March 2018


Joe Orton, enfant terrible of  British theatre in the 1960’s.
The murdered friend from a normally dysfunctional family.
A product of his family history, his culture and his time.
Ambition, talent, persistence, personality made him.
Surroundings stopped him.

Read John Lahr’s biography of Joe Orton;  Prick up your ears.
See the movie with the same name with Gary Oldman for an excellent but sadly fragmented story.
Read the plays. Read them out loud to hear the drama and the dialogue.

We saw Entertaining Mr Sloane performed by our neighbourhood dramatic society this weekend.

I thought the play would be too set in the problems of its time, a time long gone by, to be enjoyable.
The play covers blatant racism, active death penalty, homosexuality, illegal abortions, sexuality, immorality, domestic violence, oppression, social and psychological control and references to rife abuse of every kind of vulnerable persons.
I think I was expecting something more like How to kill a Mockingbird.

The play travels time and space very well.
Possibly because the societal moral changes have not been as large as the societal legal changes since then. In some countries there have been no changes neither in the laws or the social morality since the 1960's
The play is therefore as current as in the north of England in 1964.

And whatever some may think, that is not a good thing.

The four actors performed it well, at least the second half when the nerves came under control. It was odd to have it performed in Irish English (I kept expecting Molly Bloom from Dublin to walk in at any time) but the English speaking dramatic society of the Netherlands will have to take what they can get. At least almost all of them spoke in a similar Irish dialect. 

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