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 returned 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 turns 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.