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Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 545

Loot by Joe Orton is a farce that satirises British manners and institutions such as the Catholic church and marriage.

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In the play, Mrs. McLeavy has recently died, and her coffin stands in the sitting room where the play takes place. Mrs. McLeavy's son Hal explains to his mother's nurse, Fay, his father's typical British stiff upper lip reaction to Mrs. McLeavy's death.

He said he was glad she's died at the right season for roses. He's been up half the night cataloguing the varieties on the crosses. You should've seen him when that harp arrived. Sniffing the petals, checking, arguing with the man who brought it. They almost came to blows over the pronunciation.

Mr. McLeavy's relationship with his wife was, on the outside at least, so formal he can only refer to her by her surname.

Mrs. McLeavy is keeping her Maker waiting. I'll pay my addresses to you after the interment.

One of the most farcical elements of the play is that Hal, apparently due to his upbringing, can't lie. Quite a disadvantage for a bank robber. When the inspector asks him, "Where is the money?" he can do nothing but tell the truth.

By now I'd say it was half-way up the aisle of the Church of Barnabas and St. Jude

The truth, however, sounds so ridiculous, the inspector presumes he is making it up.


Understand this, lad. You can't get away with cheek. Kids nowadays treat any kind of authority as a challenge. We'll challenge you. If you oppose me in my duty, I'll kick those teeth through the back of your head. Is that clear?

The inspector continues asking him where the money is, Hal continues to tell him the truth, and the inspector continue to disbelieve him. In the end, the inspector just beats Hal up.

Despite Hal's inability to lie, he is, like his father, hypocritical about his beliefs. While he sees himself as a Catholic, for example, he wants to use the bank money to open a brothel.

I'd run a brothel. I'd run a two star brothel. And if I...

(The entire section contains 545 words.)

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