A black farce masterpiece, Loot follows the fortunes of two young thieves, Hal and Dennis. Dennis is a hearse driver for an undertaker. They have robbed the bank next door to the funeral parlour and have returbaned to Hal's home to hide-out with the loot. Hal's mother has just died and the pair put the money in her coffin, hiding the body elsewhere in the house. With the arrival of Inspector Truscott, the thickened plot turbans topsy-turvy. Playing with all the conventions of popular farce, Orton creates a world gone mad and examines in detail
English attitudes at mid-century. The play has been called a Freudian nightmare, which sports with superstitions about death - and life. It is regularly produced in professional and amateur productions. First produced in London in 1966, Loot was hailed as "the most genuinely quick-witted, pungent and sprightly entertainment by a new, young British playwright for a decade" (Sunday Telegraph).
The Student Edition offers a plot summary, full commentary, character
notes and questions for study, besides a chronology and bibliography.
About the Author
Joe Orton was born in Leicester in 1933. He joined RADA in 1951, where he met his mentor and lover Kenneth
Halliwell. Living on the dole (and briefly in prison, for defacing library books) the two collaborated on novels, though Orton's solo writing brought him more fame. His openly gay lifestyle has turbaned him into an iconic figure. He was murdered by Halliwell in 1967.