I've never seen a production of 'Loot' before and with its reputation as a great farce I was looking forward to this. I was not disappointed!! What a wonderful and breathtakingly fast flowing comedy Loot is! In particularly this production, which is performed solidly and professionally.
The action takes place at the home of Mr McLeavy on the day of the funeral of his wife. His wife's coffin is in the sitting room ready to be taken to the cemetery. However, there has been a bank robbery and it emerges that this was done by McLeavy's son 'Hal' and his mate 'Dennis'. The money is hidden in a cupboard in the sitting room. The police are on to them so Hal hides the money in his mother's coffin. What results is an abundance of outrageous, shocking and hilarious events.
There are some marvellous performances, particularly from Fred Ridgeway as 'Inspector Truscott". What a great character this is with most of the best lines being written for it and beautifully carried off by Truscott in an energetic performance. He had me in stitches!! The rest of the cast were also good most notably Tracy-Ann Oberman as 'Fay', the dead woman's nurse who has had 8 husbands, all deceased! And, Gary Whitaker who is funny and convincing playing the nice catholic boy 'Hal' who finds he is unable to lie, which consequently gets him into all sorts of problems.
The show received good notices from the popular press. MICHAEL COVENEY of THE DAILY MAIL says, "Joe Orton's exhilarating mid-Sixties high comedy of low taste has lost none of its rapacity to disturb and surprise." NICHOLAS DE JONGH of THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD says "..pleasures - of subversive wit and low comedy in which Orton savages the hypocritical arm of the law." JAMES CHRISTOPHER for THE TIMES says "What saves the show is Orton's truly preposterous plot, and some of the most evil one-liners about Catholicism and police corruption in the English satiric canon. " JOHN GROSS of THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH says "Truscott, the mad inspector ("You're mad!" "Nonsense, I had a check-up yesterday") is a great comic creation."
What a pity the life of Joe Orton was so tragically taken away at such a vital time in his career. The potential for so many more great comedies was there.
'Loot' is an enjoyable farce not to be missed!