Calvin Demba, Sam Frenchum and Sinéad Matthews Star in the 50th Anniversary Production of LOOT

Calvin Demba, Sam Frenchum and Sinéad Matthews Star in the 50th Anniversary Production of LOOTRising British stars Calvin Demba (Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award nominee, The Red Lion, National Theatre), Sam Frenchum (Private Peaceful, Grantchester) and award-winning Sinéad Matthews (Mrs Elvsted in Ivo Van Hove's Hedda Gabler, National Theatre), are to star in the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton's darkly comic masterpiece, LOOT. More cast willl be announced soon.

When it premiered five decades ago, LOOT shocked and delighted audiences in equal measure and it scooped the Best Play of the Year Award in the 1967 Evening Standard Awards.

LOOT - from the same producers as the recent sell-out hit The Boys in the Band - is directed by Michael Fentiman, whose credits include two acclaimed shows for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as the critically-acclaimed hit, Raising Martha. It will run at London's Park Theatre from 17 August - 24 September.

It will then transfer to the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Berkshire, from 28 September - 21 October.

Park Theatre press night: Wednesday 23 August at 7.00pm.

The production celebrates three 50-year anniversaries: Joe Orton's death on 9 August 1967; LOOT's first award-winning West End season at the Criterion Theatre; and the momentous, transformative passing in July 1967 of The Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21.

Loot - The Plot
Uproarious slapstick meets dubious morals as two young friends, Hal (Frenchum) and Dennis (Demba), stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin, attempting to hide their spoils from the attentions of a psychopathic policeman, a gold-digging nurse and a grieving widower. Loot was named one of the National Theatre's "100 Plays of the Century". Sixties style icon Michael Caine loved it so much he saw it six times in 1967. Another fan was Beatle Paul McCartney.


Calvin Demba

Calvin had an early break in C4's Hollyoaks then secured the lead in the hit youth drama Youngers. His other roles include a show-stopping turn in the award-winning play Routes at the Royal Court and the film London Road. He wrote and starred in his first short film RueBoy and will soon be seen in the action film sequel Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle.

Sam Frenchum

Sam trained at RADA. He was in Holby City and Doctors then he had a guest starring role in six episodes of Grantchester as Gary Bell, a mentally-challenged teenager sentenced to hang for murder that was really an accident.

Sinéad Matthews

Sinéad trained at RADA. Her stage roles include Mrs. Elvsted in Ivo Van Hove's recent Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), Laura in Giving (Hampstead), Jane in Evening at The Talk House (NT), Heather in Wasp (Hampstead). As Hedvig in The Wild Duck, directed by Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse, she won the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. On film she was Queen Victoria in Mike Leigh's MR Turner, Miss Topsey in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Alice in Mike Leigh's Happy Go Lucky.

More casting to be announced soon.

Creative team:
Director Michael Fentiman
Designer Gabriella Slade
Lighting Design Elliot Griggs
Sound Design Max Pappenheim
Casting Director Stephen Moore CDG

Produced by Tom O'Connell, James Seabright and The Watermill Theatre
in association with King's Head Theatre and Park Theatre.


Joe Orton

Between 1963 when his first play was accepted and 1967 when he died, aged just 34, in a frenzied hammer attack in a murder-suicide at the hand of his jealous partner, Kenneth Halliwell, Joe Orton emerged as a playwright of international reputation. Fascinated with the macabre, he wrote just a handful of plays, including Entertaining Mr Sloane and What The Butler Saw, but his impact was huge. His reviews ranged from praise to outrage, and the term "Ortonesque", describing work characterised by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism, was in common useage. Like Oscar Wilde before him, Orton's plays scandalised audiences, but his wit made the outrage scintillating. He was the toast of London, had an award-winning West End play, two more plays broadcast on TV, appeared on TV chat shows and had been commissioned to write a movie script for The Beatles. In the end, his death was more lurid than anything he put on stage and made front page news.

Park Theatre

Park Theatre is fast becoming recognised as a powerhouse of theatre; in just under four years, it has enjoyed three West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman and The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss), two National Theatre transfers, three national tours, an Olivier Award nomination and a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage.

The Watermill Theatre

The Watermill Theatre has developed a reputation as one of Britain's leading regional theatres and this year celebrates fifty years as a professional producing house. From its beautiful home in a small Berkshire village, work has been created that is admired around the world. Over 60,000 people attend shows at The Watermill each year, where some 12 new productions are staged annually, ranging from Shakespeare and musicals to classics, new plays and youth theatre productions. The Watermill tours regularly across the UK as well as rural touring productions, which play in village halls and small arts centres in the South. Recent transfers have included The Wipers Times (West End and Tour), Crazy For You (National Tour), Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (International Tours), Murder For Two (The Other Palace) and Frankenstein (Wilton's Music Hall).

For tickets and more information, visit www.parktheatre.co.uk and www.watermill.org.uk.

Photo credit: Darren Bell

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