Loot - An Unconventional Farce But Pure Fun

By Karen Isaacs

Farce is usually about sex -- it often involves a man or woman shuffling multiple partners or unsuspecting spouses in and out of closets, rooms or balconies -- and each time almost be caught in the lies that are necessitated.

British playwright Joe Orton in the 1960s turned farce on its head with Loot, now at Westport Country Playhouse through August. 3

Yes -- there is a lot of talk about sex -- or at least some talk about it, But the main thing that is moved about is not a lover or spouse but a dead body.  In Loot, we have two young men with criminal intent. One, Dennis) works for an undertaker which is conveniently located next to a bank. He and Hal, his slightly dumb friend have tunneled into the bank and made off with the loot. But where to stash it?

The solution is in the house of Hal's parents -- he is the dumb one and cannot lie; he just blurts out the truth.  But Mom has just died and is laid out in a coffin in the parlor.

I won't spoil the fun but let us just say that she doesn't remain in the coffin very long. Added to the plot is the grieving widower, a young nurse whose patients tend to die precipitously and who has been widowed 7 times in 10 years, and a police inspector masquerading as a man from the local water authority.

This might sound unsavory to laugh at but the fast paced production at Westport produces almost non-stop laughter as soon as the audience realizes what is happening. Director David Kennedy has a sure hand with this farce and some excellent actors to work with.  I especially liked John Horton as the widower, David Manis as the officious but not-too-swift inspector and Devin Norik as the truth speaking son.

Hot weather and comedy seem to be a perfect fit so Loot will cool you off even while you marvel at its outrageousness.

It is at Westport Country Playhouse through Aug. 3.
This review aired on WNHU 88.7 fm and www.wnhu.net

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