Martin McDonagh’s formidable strike-rate with the audiences has been earned by his ability to construct beautiful plots and infuses them with rich, dark comic dialogue. His latest play, considered too hot to handle by the established theatres of London, is his most political and most ferocious. In fact, it may be the most gruesome piece of theatre conceived since the Colosseum. But, it is also his funniest, and if marrying comedy to violence sounds beyond the pale, consider his subject matter, In this play McDonagh takes on Irish terrorism and does so with a kind of high speed satirical armoured tank, steered with knife-edge precision by comic plotting worthy of Ben Jonson, delivering belly laughs like relentless rounds of ammunition and driven by high octane Swiftian rage.
Blasphemies abound. Unspeakable things happen to cats. The absurd sentimentality at the heart of so many a steely, sadistic zealot is hilariously exposed. Dan Wylie, Cloudstreet’s Fish Lamb, returns as Padraig, the boy too mad for the IRA.
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Neil Armfield
Set Design Dan Potra
Costume Design Tess Schofield
Composition & Sound Design Paul Charlier
Lighting Design Mark Pennington
Voice Coach Maeliosa Stafford
Company B’s excellent production clearly conveys how comfort and familiarity offer no protection to the brutalising forces that can alienate families and destroy lives.Sydney Morning Herald