New York | 2h 30m | Already closed

Entertaining Mr. Sloane

From 7 critic and 11 member reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Entertaining, Funny, Edgy, Slow

About the show

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble revives Joe Orton's pitch-black comedy about a family whose drab existence is interrupted by the arrival of a new lodger: the enigmatic Mr. Sloane. More…

Provocative and sexually ambiguous, Sloane soon has both Kath and her brother Ed competing for his favors. But all is not as it seems. Behind Sloane’s nonchalant demeanor lies a calculating psychopath with a dark and secretive past. Seduction, blackmail, and murder lie waiting in the wings.

2h 30m | Already closed | The Wild Project (East Village)


"Riotous performances, inspired staging and striking design all make this an exquisite revival of Joe Orton’s 1964 subversive, black comedy masterpiece...Director Craig Smith’s propulsive staging gloriously renders Orton’s vision of anti-establishment mayhem...Every joke uproariously lands, especially those about false teeth. The casting is perfection...This superb production affirms its enduring stature as a work of provocative dramatic literature." Full Review

Plays to See

"A hilarious, sexy, scathing farce...Director Craig Smith and his team have come up with unique flourishes that add amazing details to the stage action: dogs barking, background music and amusing piano flourishes that serve as a soundtrack, even incense and perfume. The production makes this 53-year-old play just as incendiary and sordid as it was when it debuted. It’s deliciously perverse and genuinely funny." Full Review

The Huffington Post

“A deliciously decadent piece of vintage vice…Director Craig Smith, the play’s creative team, and the cast expertly transport us back to not-so-jolly old England in the '60s…The acting of all four players is superb. As Kath, the delightful Elise Stone is a larger-than-life force of nature…For those who have never seen the play, the final moment of 'Entertaining Mr. Sloane' alone is worth the 53-year wait!” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"This revival, directed by Craig Smith, is as good a production as anyone could wish. We are led through a gorgeously sordid farce with four misfits of differing stripes...How it goes wrong from there is at once predictable and surprising. That is the genius of Joe Orton—to never provide sure footing or an easy explanation. Life is menacing and funny, so laugh at your own peril...This production is outstanding." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“Orton’s dialogue is fast, witty, and deceptively complex, such that it has the actors here almost chasing after it at times, and tripping here and there over their dubiously assumed accents...There are a couple of moments when the underlying pain is unintentionally allowed to override the humor...When the actors do hit the right beats, as they do more often than not, it is deliriously funny…A grotesquely clownish scenario that is as humorously alleviating as it is psychologically unsettling.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Herein lies the problem with the play...It stretches credibility that a young stud would agree to settle into a house on the edge of nowhere and willingly fall into a relationship with a needy, overbearing woman...Phoenix Ensemble’s production is particularly disquieting. Under Smith’s direction, the show features four wholly unsympathetic characters...It’s cringe-inducing, and while there is abundant dark humor in the play, the takeaway is far more unsettling than it is entertaining." Full Review


"This may be the first time I have found murder, incest, and blackmail so darn boring." Full Review

Intense, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if You like edgy, dark dark comedies... even though it was written in the 1960s

Don't see it if you are easily shocked

Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing

See it if A young man dealing with a brother and sister interested in sex with him and all that befalls this strange family. Amusing acting by all.

Don't see it if Your to uptight for this forty year old play.

Riveting, Profound, Hilarious, Great acting

See it if you want to see 1960's Joe Orton's "ahead of it's time" classic about a relationship triangle that is dangerous & sexy and even today shocks

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays that are very controversial and emphasize sexual freedom in a three way type relationship in 1960's London.

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Edgy

See it if You want to see a well-acted, well-directed very dark comedy.

Don't see it if You are easily offended

Ambitious, Edgy, Entertaining, Intelligent, Fluffy

See it if you enjoy intelligent farce and adult situations. It isn't thrillingly paced, but it is a lot of fun.

Don't see it if want a ton of action or are easily offended by sexual situations.

Funny, Quirky, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a great production of a Joe Orton play. You like non-traditional stories.

Don't see it if You're easily offended. You need to go into this with an open mind and roll with it otherwise you won't enjoy it.

Entertaining, Raunchy, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You've never had a chance to see Orton ' s subversive black comedy on family values gone amuck

Don't see it if You want precision in dialect

Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Well directed, Disturbing

See it if You are up for a theatrical challenge. The characters their development and situations are extremely well presented.

Don't see it if you are impatient with slow developments that only pay off at the climax. There is also a strong absurd element that will bother some people

Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Wicked, Sexy

See it if you take your comedy black with no sweetener and you find most TV sitcoms tiresomely tame despite their attempts to be naughty.

Don't see it if clever double entendres tend to go above your head.

During previews
Provocative, Totally orton, Years of experience on stage, Perverse boulevard comedy, Great acting, staging, direction

See it if Joe Orton, The Phoenix Ensemble, Craig Smith, sexual absurdism, leather pants, hunky hustlers, are worth your price of admission

Don't see it if sexual dynamics, absurdity, that which is Ortonesque, British accents, listening for 2 hours +, intimate productions, are enuf 2 keep u home

During previews
Dated, Quirky, Slow, Good acting, Absurd humor

See it if You like absurd dark comedy or like Orton. You've never seen a production of the show. Can forgive lack of diction.

Don't see it if You've seen good production already. You have trouble following Brit diction poorly enunciated. You're expecting shock value of original.

Cast & Creatives (10)