by Joe Orton
Directed by Trevor Scott Floyd
Presented by Novato Theatre Company
January 25-February 10, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Trevor Scott Floyd’s production of Loot, is truly a dark comedy for the times: hypocrisy made laughable at institutions failings. Were it not so true, in the current climate, as to how far from grace some establishments have fallen, the laughs wouldn’t catch in the throat quite as much. All in all a very well acted production which is sure to please anyone who enjoys a dark English farce.
Spoiler Alert: There’s a dead person in the play and they have a staring role! The story focus however is on Hal (James Gregory) and Dennis (Peter Malmquist) and the complications that arise when their heist must be coordinated on the same day as Hal’s Mothers funeral. The ins and outs of moving money and corpse provide plenty of witty dialogue as well as physical humor. However, Faye the Nurse (Haley Bertelsen) steals the attention onstage with her quick banter and seemingly natural British accent. Keith Jefferds as Mr McLeavy gives an effortless portrayal of a distinguished older chap, and a treat to watch – his facial expressions never cease to bring a smile. Despite the farcical nature of the play, the connection between Faye and Mr. McLeavy is surprisingly genuine. Peter Malmquist as Dennis is a believable squirrelly troublemaker with a knack for timing and dry delivery of the lines. Two other major actors are Hal (James Gregory) and Truscott (Johnny DeBernard). DeBernard does a brilliant job of making you laugh and cringe at this cagy antics. Gregory is the perfect moody teenager with homosexual overtones. John Griffin as Meadows is brief, but imposing.
The overall thrust of the play, lacking favor for institutions, would have been slightly more entertaining if women, in general, hadn’t been limited to the 1964 perspective in two limiting factions: 1.Oversexed, money hungry and 2.Pious and mostly boring (dead). Turning the play on it’s head a little – a woman inspector? a male nurse and female youths? could’ve added an edginess in line with Joe Orton’s unapologetic cynicism.
Running around 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission, you can enjoy some Loot on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from now until February 10th, 2019!
Novato Theatre Company, 5420 Nave Drive Novato. 855-682-8491. Or email email@example.com.