Horne and Staunton take on Orton

Published October 31, 2008

Imelda Staunton and Mathew Horne are to star in a new production of Joe Orton’s black comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane, playing at Trafalgar Studio 1 from 22 January to 11 April (press night 30 January).

Orton’s 1964 play centres on the eponymous Sloane (Horne), a handsome, amoral young man who charms his way into the home of middle-aged, desperate Kath (Staunton), who is attracted to him. When her brother Ed meets Sloane, he too is attracted to the newcomer, and the pair compete for the affections of their new lodger in a dangerous game which ends in blackmail and murder.

Acclaimed stage and screen actress Staunton won Laurence Olivier Awards for her performances in Into The Woods in 1991 and A Chorus Of Disapproval/The Corn Is Green in 1985. Her other stage credits include Richard Eyre’s 1982 production of Guys And Dolls at the National Theatre and its 1997 revival, Life X 3, also at the National in 2000, Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville and There Came A Gipsy Riding at the Almeida in 2007. Her numerous films include Peter’s Friends, Much About About Nothing, Sense And Sensibility, Shakespeare In Love, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix and Vera Drake, for which she won a Best Actress BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award.  

Horne, who makes his West End debut in the play, is best known for playing Gavin in hit television show Gavin And Stacey, and has previously been seen in The Catherine Tate Show and Roman’s Empire. His forthcoming television show with Gavin And Stacey star James Corden, Horne And Corden, is directed by actress/director Kathy Burke, who is billed as Artistic Associate for this stage production of Entertaining Mr Sloane.

The pair are directed by Nick Bagnall and will be joined by further cast members, to be announced.

Playwright Orton – who was murdered in 1967 by his ex-lover – is also the author of What The Butler Saw and Loot, which is revived at the Tricycle in December.

Entertaining Mr Sloane comes to Trafalgar Studio 1 following children’s show Horrid Henry – Live And Horrid! and Maria Friedman’s solo show Rearranged, which share the schedule at the venue over the Christmas period.

CB