5 comments on “Loot

  1. I’ve seen Loot/Sloane/Erpingham/Butler on stage, with ‘Up Against It’ on audio-tape, and have read all the others (as well as John Lahr’s book). My own favourite play is ‘Sloane’ which has a satisfying consistency and a pleasing dramatic arc.
    You and I agree that the ‘Prick’ film was a good one. Alan Bennett’s memorable script captures just the right mood for the era and its subject.
    Incidentally about 25 years ago there was a star-stuffed benefit in London protesting against the then Thatcher government’s proposal (eventually enacted, but repealed by Blair), to criminalise the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools, which I attended and in which many stars of the British theatrical world performed or read a piece (Including the Pet Shop Boys performing live for the first time!). Gary Oldman and Sheila Hancock) did the seduction scene from ‘Sloane’, and it was a riot.
    I’m afraid that, unlike you, I do find that most of the plays have dated significantly with the shift of social attitudes since the 1960s. Maybe that dated-ness doesn’t show so much in the USA where there is still such a strong contingent of social-conservatism, which has here been largely consigned to the political margins.
    Another Btw: For some reason, rather like the assassination of Harvey Milk, I just cannot recall the death of Joe Orton in the news even though I would have been a (still-closeted) 20 at the time. Very strange when I can clearly remember the death of Marilyn Monroe some years earlier than Orton. I wonder if my mind has blanked out Orton’s and Milk’s untimely demises as being just too unpleasant to bear.

    • Thanks for the insightful comment. I understand what you mean about the ‘datedness’, perhaps I am being too forgiving. The social conservatism is an issue I had not considered but I think it has merit. The homosexuality in Loot, possibly shocking in 1965, seems tame now. And the idea that anyone would be shocked by Protestant and a Catholic marrying a Protestant seems quaint. Perhaps is plays more contemporary here (or at least to me) because it is set in the North of England. What looks dated in England just plays as ‘English village life’ here. It didn’t seem ‘period’ to me, just foreign; same feeling I had in seeing the musical “Blood Brothers”.

  2. Ah, ‘Blood Brothers’! Not sure if you did a post on that particular subject before, but just in case you did I’ll not repeat myself. I’ll only say ‘Blood Brothers’? Bah HUMBUG!”

    • I had to check but I did not blog about Blood Brothers. I think I saw it long before I started blogging.

      I remember buying a cast recording of it at a used CD store while on vacation in Key West many years ago. There were a couple guys from the UK staying at the guest house who commented they were surprised anyone outside England would know of the show and few in England cared about it.

      I didn’t hate it but I can’t imagine ever seeing it again.

      • Okay then, To slightly expand on what I intimated, I just cannot fathom why this show has received such plaudits both here and abroad. I saw it in London about a year after it had opened. I recall saying to myself “If I once more here that daft song about ‘Just like Marilyn Monroe’ I’m out of here.” Sure enough it came round yet again – so I upped and went, about 15 mins from the end, I gather. Even apart from that I thought the entire show was musically trite, (melo)dramatically predictable and all overblown tat.
        Some months after that I was attending another West End show when, in the cocktail bar during the interval, I got talking to an American lady tourist about all what was on at that time. She said to me “If there’s one show you simply MUST see it’s ‘Blood Brothers”. I don’t know if the warning take-your-seats bell covered my horrified answer or I was just gobsmacked, but she ought to have noticed my fallen features.
        I’ll marry a woman before, like you, I see it again.
        Hence the ‘humbug’!

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