Joe Orton’s classic farce LOOT to play at PARK Theatre

Look Park TheatreJoe Orton’s classic farce LOOT will run at London’s Park Theatre from Thursday 17 August – Sunday 24 September. It will then transfer to the Watermill Theatre from 28 September – 21 October.

The production marks the 50th anniversary of Joe Orton’s death on 9 August 1967, and just months after LOOT’s award-winning West End season at the Criterion Theatre.

Uproarious slapstick meets dubious morals as two young friends, Hal and Dennis, stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin, attempting to hide their spoils from the attentions of a psychopathic policeman, a gold-digging nurse and a grieving widower.

The ensuing black comedy – named one of the National Theatre’s “100 Plays of the Century” – shocked and delighted West End audiences in equal measure when the play premiered five decades ago. Sixties style icon Michael Caine loved it so much he saw it six times. Another big fan was Beatle Paul McCartney.

Cast to be announced.

Creative team: Director – Michael Fentiman. Designer – Gabriella Slade. Lighting Design – Elliot Griggs. Sound Design – Max Pappenheim. Casting Director – Stephen Moore CDG.

Between 1963 when his first play was accepted and 1967 when he died, aged just 34, in a frenzied hammer attack in a murder-suicide at the hands of his jealous partner, Kenneth Halliwell, Joe Orton became a playwright of international reputation. Fascinated with the macabre, he only wrote just a handful of plays including Entertaining Mr Sloane and What The Butler Saw, but his impact on the arts was huge. His reviews ranged from praise to outrage, and the term “Ortonesque”, describing work characterised by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism, was in common useage. Like Oscar Wilde before him, Orton’s plays scandalised audiences, but his wit made the outrage scintillating. He was the toast of London, had an award-winning West End play, two other plays broadcast on TV, appeared on chat shows and had been commissioned to write a movie script for The Beatles. In the end, his death was more lurid than anything he put on stage and made front page news.

LOOT plays at Park Theatre 17 August – 24 September 2017