Date(s) - 14 Oct 2011
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre


Captioned Performances: Friday, 14 October at 8pm and Wednesday, 19 October at 1pm at Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Sydney Theatre Company and Qantas present ‘Loot‘ by Joe Orton

Wild and anarchic, this hilarious black farce embodies the subversive spirit of swinging 1960’s London from which it originated. The Beatles rocked, Portobello Road rolled and, as in any period where the times are a-changing, a satirist was born: pop culture icon Joe Orton. Dubbed by The Observer ‘the Oscar Wilde of Welfare State gentility’, Orton’s merciless swipes at a hypocritical society were as furious and acerbically witty as his Victorian predecessor’s. Brutally murdered at 34 and leaving only a tragically small body of work, Orton has since become a theatre legend whose plays (including Entertaining Mr Sloane and What The Butler Saw) are constantly revived around the world.

When it was first staged in 1966, Loot shocked audiences with its satirical criticism of the Catholic Church and religious hypocrisy. In the wake of the Church’s abuse scandals, the play’s power to shock may have diminished but its brilliance as a dramatic invention has not. Loot remains a potent criticism of police corruption, the façade of propriety and good old-fashioned scurrilousness.

Set on the day of Mrs McLeavy’s funeral, Loot follows her teenage son Hal and the sexually excitable undertaker Dennis as they attempt to stash the cash from their burglary of the bank next door.

When Dennis is visited by Truscott of Scotland Yard the boys realise the heat is on. Their only way out is to trust Mrs McLeavy’s nurse, Fay; an ostensibly devout Catholic who, for a sizable fee, will help them shift the hot cash. Mrs McLeavy has been cold for days now… why not use her coffin?

It might not have been done before, it might be against his Catholic beliefs but Hal has no qualms about stashing his mother’s corpse in the wardrobe. However, when Fay recommends stripping the body naked to avoid identification, Hal draws the line. He won’t see his mother naked! That would be against his faith!

Richard Cottrell (director of Ying Tong: A Walk with The Goons and Travesties) will bring his unique sensibility for great British comedy to this modern classic that has not been seen in Sydney since 1988.

Duration: 2 hours, including interval

Venue: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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