1971 – “Loot” by Joe OrtonPosted on: January 12, 1971
The play, first performed in 1965, is a dark farce that satirizes the Roman Catholic Church, the rituals of bereavement, and the integrity of the British police force.
Hal and Dennis rob the bank next to the funeral parlour where Dennis works and return to Hal’s home to hide the money. Since Hal’s mother has just died, they decide her coffin is the best place to put their loot. This means that they need to find somewhere else to hide the body, so the corpse is dragged around the stage throughout the play. Upon the arrival of Inspector Truscott, the plot becomes even more bizarre as Hal and Dennis try to keep him off their trail, aided by Nurse McMahon and to the despair of Hal’s father, Mr. McLeavy. The police, as represented by Inspector Truscott, are depicted as venal and corrupt. Actually, no one comes out of Orton’s play clean.Originally called Funeral Games, Loot is a gleefully anarchic black comedy that exemplifies Orton’s typical style, a blend of the comic and the grotesque.