Entertaining Mr Sloane

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Sharp, alarming and hilarious, Entertaining Mr Sloane is a subversive black comedy of unscrupulous sexual manipulation.

In three deft acts, Orton tells the mischievously provocative story of Mr Sloane, a sly and handsome young man who works his way into the household of Kath, her brother Ed, and their father. Kath wants something between a lover and a substitute baby, while Ed wants someone to drive his car dressed in a tight t-shirt and leather cap. But though the charismatic youth thinks that he holds all the cards with both brother and sister vying for his attention, the play soon becomes a shameless and unnerving tangle of sex, blackmail, bribery and violence.

Entertaining Mr Sloane was Orton’s first full-length play. It was first staged in 1964.

audio Long Ago And Far Away

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A series of short comedic works from playwright David Ives, with subjects ranging from the Lindbergh baby to chimps typing literary classics. The title work is a more serious, nostalgic look at two generations of apartment dwellers who meet in a time warp.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Samantha Bennett, Jane Brucker, Ian Gomez, Arye Gross, Richard Kind, Dinah Manoff, Nia Vardalos and Tom Virtue.

Directed by Ron West. Recorded before a live audience in June, 1995.

Featuring: Samantha Bennett, Jane Brucker, Ian Gomez, Arye Gross, Richard Kind, Dinah Manoff, Nia Vardalos, Tom Virtue


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Restoration is a forceful, darkly comic story of cruelty, injustice and iron privilege. Bond appropriates and parodies the conventions of Restoration theatre with barbed accuracy and style, underwriting his epigrams and double plots with a fierce discourse on class and inequality.

The play is set in eighteenth-century England: the foppish and cold-blooded Lord Are is forced by poverty into an unwanted marriage with the daughter of a wealthy mineowner, and they proceed to duly detest one another.

The second plot sees the guileless footman Bob Hedges bring home a new wife, Rose, who is the daughter of a freed slave. One morning, Lord Are commits a bizarre and fatal crime over his breakfast toast. He persuades the dazed Bob that it is in fact Bob who is responsible for the crime. But a battle ensues between the justice-hungry Rose and the fortified privilege of the ruling classes.

Restoration was first presented in 1981 at the Royal Court Theatre, London.

Saint Joan of the Stockyards

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Like The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Happy End, Saint Joan of the Stockyards is set in a mythical Chicago. Brecht's Saint Joan is a Salvation Army lieutenant who challeges the power of Pierpont Mauler, the Meat King.

The play is full of pastiche and parody and stems from the time of world economic crisis around 1929-32, a crucial period of creativity and political experiment for Brecht. However, it was never staged in his lifetime.

Saint Joan of the Stockyards was first produced in Hamburg in 1959, three years after Brecht's death. The first production by the Berliner Ensemble was in 1968.

The Suicide

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

I used to work in PR, if you’re going to kill yourself let’s make it an event . . . You can own this, Sam. For the first time in your life you. Could be. In charge.

Things are getting tough for Sam. No job, benefits stopped and stuck in a tiny flat with his girlfriend Maya and her mum. The pressure is building. It feels like there might be only one way out.

But every ending is a beginning and there are plenty of people keen to capitalise on Sam’s momentous decision. From corrupt local politicians to kids trying to raise the number of views of their online videos, everyone wants a piece of Sam’s demise. It scarcely matters what Sam actually wants. Faced with the promise of immortality, what’s his life worth?

Suhayla El-Bushra takes the satiric masterpiece by Nikolai Erdman and smashes it into contemporary urban Britain. It’s provocative, fast-paced and very funny.

audio Time Flies

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A series of short comic vignettes from playwright David Ives, In the title work, two houseflies try to make the most out of their brief time on earth.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Fran Adams, Ed Begley Jr., Shannon Cochran, Evan Gore, Arye Gross and Victoria Principal.

Directed by Ron West. Recorded before a live audience in March, 1998.

Featuring: Fran Adams, Ed Begley Jr., Shannon Cochran, Evan Gore, Arye Gross, Victoria Principal

In drama, as in literature and the other arts, a work or part of a work that mimics in a humorous and distorted way the style of an author or genre. The word comes from the Greek paroidiā, meaning a song that mocks another song. Examples survive from the earliest days of the theatre. Aristophanes parodied both Aeschylus and Euripides, making the two great tragedians compete against each other in his comedy The Frogs (405 BC). The Second Shepherd’s Play of the medieval Towneley mystery cycle contains a parody of the Nativity scene, in which a stolen sheep is disguised as a baby. The heroic dramas of the 17th and 18th century were parodied in Buckingham’s The Rehearsal (1671) and Sheridan’s The Critic (1779), as well as in numerous burlesque plays. Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1723) parodied the fashionable operas of his day. Modern examples include Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound (1968), which sends up the conventions of the murder mystery, and Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (1982), which parodies bedroom farce. Several passages in Shakespeare reveal him as a master of linguistic parody. In the play-within-a-play in A Midsummer Night’s Dream he burlesques the exaggerated rant of much Elizabethan tragedy.

from Jonathan Law, ed., The Methuen Drama Dictionary of the Theatre (London, 2011).