Cast announced for Joe Orton's LOOT
19 June 2017
Rising British stars Calvin Demba (Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award nominee, The Red Lion, National Theatre), Sam Frenchum (Private Peaceful, Grantchester) and award-winning Sinéad Matthews (Mrs Elvsted in Ivo van Hove’s Hedda Gabler, National Theatre), are to star in the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton’s darkly comic masterpiece, LOOT.
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. Loot - from the same producers as the recent sell-out hit The Boys in the Band - is directed by Michael Fentiman, whose credits include two acclaimed shows for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as the critically-acclaimed hit, Raising Martha.
The production celebrates three 50-year anniversaries: Joe Orton’s death on 9 August 1967; Loot's first award-winning West End season at the Criterion Theatre; and the momentous, transformative passing in July 1967 of The Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21.
Loot - The Plot
Uproarious slapstick meets dubious morals as two young friends, Hal (Frenchum) and Dennis (Demba), 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. Loot was named one of the National Theatre’s “100 Plays of the Century”. Sixties style icon Michael Caine loved it so much he saw it six times in 1967. Another fan was Beatle Paul McCartney.
Calvin had an early break in C4’s Hollyoaks then secured the lead in the hit youth drama Youngers. His other roles include a show-stopping turn in the award-winning play Routes at the Royal Court and the film London Road. He wrote and starred in his first short film RueBoy and will soon be seen in the action film sequel Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle.
Sam trained at RADA. He was in Holby City and Doctors then he had a guest starring role in six episodes of Grantchester as Gary Bell, a mentally challenged teenager sentenced to hang for murder that was really an accident.
Sinéad trained at RADA. Her stage roles include Mrs. Elvsted in Ivo van Hove’s recent Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), Laura in Giving (Hampstead), Jane in Evening at The Talk House (NT), Heather in Wasp (Hampstead). As Hedvig in The Wild Duck, directed by Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse, she won the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. On film she was Queen Victoria in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Miss Topsey in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Alice in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky.
- 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 hand of his jealous partner, Kenneth Halliwell, Joe Orton emerged as a playwright of international reputation. Fascinated with the macabre, he
wrote just a handful of plays, including Entertaining Mr Sloane and What The Butler Saw, but his impact 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 more plays broadcast on TV, appeared on TV 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.
by Joe Orton
Thursday 17 August - Saturday 24 September
Previews: 17 - 19 August
Plays: 17 August - 24 September
Press Night: Wednesday 23 August at 7.00pm
Tue – Sat Evening 7.30pm
Sun 10 September 7.30pm
Thu & Sat Matinees 3.00pm
Sun 27 August 3.00pm
3, 10 & 24 September 3.00pm
17 - 23 August Tickets £10*
Tuesday - Thursday & Saturday matinees
Standard £20.00 - £26.50
Friday - Sunday evening & Sundays
Standard £25.00 - £29.50
Child (Under 16) £15*
Groups: Buy 10 tickets get the 11th free
*Subject to availability. T&Cs apply.
*Telephone booking fee: 10% (capped at £2.50 per ticket)