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Loot (1986)



A play by Joe Orton, performed at the Manhattan Theater Club, New York (4 February - 9 March 1986), and The Music Box, New York (7 April - 28 June 1986).


Loot image #1 Loot image #2

The first photo shows Fay (played by Zoe Wanamaker) and Meadows (Nic Ullet).  The second shows (from left to right) Truscott (Joseph Maher), Hal (Željko Ivanek), McLeavy (Charles Keating), and Fay.


Preparations for the funeral of Mrs McLeavy are anything but solemn in Loot, a black comedy about corruption, greed, and hypocrisy.

Mrs McLeavy's widower is comforted by nurse Fay, a cunning murderess.  Having seen off numerous husbands, she digs her claws into her next target.  Meanwhile, McLeavy's son, Hal, is less preoccupied by grief than money: he has robbed a bank with his hearse-driver friend Dennis, and now the pair must find a hiding place for the loot.  Where better than Mrs McLeavy's casket?

Mad Inspector Truscott, posing as a representative of the Metropolitan Water Board (and fooling no-one), makes a poor job of following the clues as corpse and cash are swapped. 

Despite Mr McLeavy's faith in authority figures, it is clear that none of the individuals affected by his wife's demise can be trusted.


Charles Keating ... McLeavy

Zoë Wanamaker ... Fay

Željko Ivanek ... Hal

Kevin Bacon (at the Manhattan Theater Club)/Alec Baldwin (at The Music Box) ... Dennis

Joseph Maher ... Truscott

Nic Ullet (at the Manhattan Theater Club)/George Taylor (at The Music Box) ... Meadows


At The Music Box
Director: John Tillinger
Producers: David Merrick, Charles P. Kopelman, and Mark Simon
Set Designer: John Lee Beatty
Costume Designer: Bill Walker
Lighting Designer: Richard Nelson
Production Stage Manager: Peggy Peterson
Stage Manager: Jon Nakagawa
Fight Co-ordinator: J. Allen Suddeth
Dialect Coach: Timothy Monich
Production Artwork: Fraver
Production Photographer: Gerry Goodstein


For her role as nurse Fay in this production of Loot, Zoë was nominated for the Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Tony Award, as well the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Drama Desk Award.

Loot gave Zoë her second opportunity to appear on Broadway, following her debut in Piaf (1981).  She has since returned to Broadway for Made in Bangkok (1989), Electra (1998), and Awake and Sing! (2006).

Press coverage

'For Wanamaker, doing Loot was a risk, something she hadn't experienced in repertory [e.g. at the Royal Shakespeare Company], which keeps its actors at least steadily employed', explained Michael Kuchwara (see 'Actress Zoe Wanamaker Makes Loot Work on Broadway', Sarasota Herald Tribune). 

It took three years to bring Loot to the stage, and there could be no guarantees of success; but the end result was certainly worth the wait for all concerned.  'The production couldn't be better', declared John Simon in the New York Magazine.  'Miss Wanamaker [...] is adorable as the kittenish coquette,' declared Mel Gussow in the New York Times.  His colleague, Frank Rich, agreed that Zoe's performance was 'wonderful', calling Loot 'a genuinely first-class production'.


Loot by Joe Orton

Related links

Loot (The Music Box) production information - Internet Broadway Database (IBDB)

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