During the sixties, Orton’s plays such as Loot and Entertaining Mr Sloane showed an hitherto unseen side of British society on the stage and challenged the double standards of the ‘moral guardians’. In his first solo play, The Ruffian On The Stair (which is directed by Paul Clayton) we meet a ‘couple’ who live in a flat in Islington (not unlike Orton’s own abode).
The Ruffian On The Stair is a terrific introduction to Joe Orton with a superbly well done production of a lesser known play – the cast of three are absolutely spot on.
Though written well before this year’s Harvey Weinstein scandal and escalating accusations of sexual misconduct across other industries, The Secondary Victim takes on an even more urgent topicality. We covered that and much more at the post-show discussion.
In what seems a lengthy two and a half hours, Campling takes us through not only Ali’s own marital strains with husband Victor (Gary Webster), but also her counselling of another client who’s a paedophile, along with glimpses into the professional relationship she maintains with her supervisor Marilyn.
Matthew Campling, a former counsellor, has crafted a psychologically dense and often intense dialogue between broken people; pain catalysed by an allegation of sexual assault.
Mtthew Campling’s The Secondary Victim runs at the Park Theatre from 4 November to 9 December, and the performance on Tuesday 21 November will be followed by a Q&A session led by Mates co-founder Terri Paddock.