I Licked A Slag's Deodorant Poster.
I Licked A Slag's Deodorant Poster.

Anthony Bessick as Man and Jo Marriott as Slag.
Anthony Bessick as Man and Jo Marriott as Slag.
Emma Sheldon as Slag.
Emma Sheldon as Slag.
Antony Bessick as Man.
Antony Bessick as Man.
Anthony Bessick as Man and Jo Marriott as Slag.
Anthony Bessick as Man and Jo Marriott as Slag.

“I Licked A Slag’s Deodorant’ was excellent – from the first scene the quality of the writing was apparent and the company has obviously revelled in the opportunity. A terrific script, two fine performances and deft direction combined to make this a really outstanding production.” – North West Arts Board

“I Licked a Slag’s Deodorant is a powerful piece of uncompromising theatre about the meeting of two lost souls who find a kind of comfort in one another. Anthony Bessick gives an excellent performance as the pathetic loner who has to buy love, while Emma Sheldon is superb as the crack-addicted prostitute. Their battle for survival is harrowing but makes first-rate theatre.” – The Stage

“NO wonder Jim Cartwright isn’t the most prolific of playwrights or that his scripts often tend to be short as well as snappy, because he is a master of saying so very much so succinctly. Take, for example. the opening few, very brief scenes of this, his newest play, here getting its much overdue north west premiere. The Man, a middle aged, sad loner, gets beaten up on his way home, sees another sad loner being carried out of the flats, dead, licks the Slag’s deodorant and tells of his deprived upbringing and of finding his mother dead in bed, all that in about five minutes in a burst of quick-fire energies and richly descriptive language that etch the detail into your mind. It’s a very funny, quite dirty and achingly sad play, that pitches this poor misfit in with a crack-addicted Slag who pauses in her street walking just long enough to go home with him. Once there, they strike up an oddball relationship that finally sees him beginning to get a life, even if it is on the floor under the bed where Slag entertains her clients. It is well up to Cartwright’s usual standards, which is to say it’s pretty brilliant, so thanks to Manchester-based Rocket Theatre Company for bringing it North, as part of their policy of staging work from London’s new writing theatres. Rocket founder Martin Harris directs two cracking performances by Antony Bessick and Emma Sheldon and welds the whole thing together with great skill. Fans of new wave theatre shouldn’t miss it.” – Manchester Evening News


The play is a series of monologues segued together to create a picture of life at its most ugly. Man is a loner; he lives in a crummy bedsit with only the TV for company. Occasionally, he’ll venture out to the pub or the disco, but he doesn’t interact, he merely observes. Slag is a hyperactive drug-head; she walks the streets chanting her mantra to the punters -‘twenty for sex, fifteen for a blow job, ten for hand relief.’ Despite the huge gulf between them, Slag and Man meet and forge a bizarre intimacy between the blood and the cum.

The play was presented as a double bill on each of it’s 3 tours. The first time with Spurning Comfort by Torben Betts (1998), then Arise by Jim Burke (1999) and Wedded by Jim Cartwright (2003).


Martin Harris.


Antony Bessick as Man

Emma Sheldon as Slag (1998 / 1999) / Jo Marriott as Slag (2003)


7 – 8 November 2003 / CragRats Theatre, Holmfirth
6 November 2003 / Darwen Library Theatre
31 Oct – 1 Nov 2003 / Chester Gateway Theatre
30 October 2003 / Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax
26 October 2003 / Stanwix Arts Centre, Carlisle
24 October 2003 / Pyramid Arts Centre, Warrington
21 October 2003 / Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
18 October 2003 / Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
15 – 17 October 2003 / Contact Theatre, Manchester
14 October 2003 / Performance Centre, Stockport

9 – 13 March 1999 / Bolton Octagon Studio Theatre.
5 – 6 March 1999 / Dukes Theatre, Lancaster.
26 – 27 February 1999 / Blackpool Grand Studio Theatre.
25 February 1999 (2 perf.) / Lawrence Batley Studio Theatre, Huddersfield.
19 – 20 February 1999 / Didsbury Studio Theatre, Manchester.

1 – 6 June 1998 / Oldham Coliseum Studio Theatre.
25 – 30 May 1998 / Didsbury Studio Theatre, Manchester.

The production was also due to play at The Rose Theatre, Ormskirk (28 Oct 2003) and the Mumford Theatre, Cambridge (29 Oct 2003) but sadly these performances had to be cancelled as the company had their van containing all the set, props, lighting board etc stolen, which meant also having to scurry around replacing everything as quickly as possible to complete the rest of the tour. Oh – the joys!