Casting has been announced for Michael Fentiman’s 50th Anniversary production of Joe Orton’s classic dark comedy Loot playing at the Park Theatre from 17 August – 24 September 2017. Joining the previously announced rising British stars Calvin Demba (Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award nominee, The Red Lion, National Theatre) and Sam Frenchum (Private Peaceful, Grantchester) and the award-winning Sinéad Matthews (Mrs Elvsted in Ivo van Hove’s Hedda Gabler, National Theatre), are Christopher Fulford (Winston Churchill in Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, The Crucible, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Ian Redford (The Alchemist, Mad World My Master, Candide, all for the RSC) and Raphael Bar (national tour of Out of Order) with Anah Ruddin. When it premiered five decades ago, Loot shocked and delighted audiences in equal measure and it scooped the Best Play of the Year Award in the 1967 Evening Standard Awards. This production commemorates three 50-year anniversaries: … Read more
Betts’ adaptation (re-imagining is perhaps more accurate) certainly tries to evoke the same effect Chekhov must have had on his original audiences. There is a robust modernity about the language which makes the situations and characters instantly understandable, relatable and recognisable. This comes at a real cost to the lyricism that Chekhov penned, but, in the end, the clarity of the understanding is worth it. For some, no doubt, the text will be too coarse, too vulgar – but it distils the essence of Chekhov’s intent in a coherent and tangible way.
It has everything: dirty, jazzy songs sung lustily; knob jokes; fake brawls; knickers tossed to the audience; knob jokes; sex scenes of all kinds; an altercation with a garbage bin; knob jokes; liquids tossed or splurged onto the audience; dress ups; knob jokes; raunchy scene changes; prostitutes masquerading as Nuns; knob jokes; big items being removed from small, dark places despite security measures including the penis on a small statue of David; fart jokes; and characters called Master Whopping Prospect, Penitent Brothel, Dick Follywit and Mr Littledick. Did I mention there were knob jokes?