Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fun-Play Bloody Fun-Play

Theatre Review
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
A Play by Martin McDonagh
Northlight Theatre - Skokie, IL 

Just when I was about to write off plays as an expected source of enjoyment, I saw one of the funniest, and in the end, most insightful, plays I've seen in a long time. Written by Martin McDonagh, one of the two reigning wunderkinds of Irish theatre along with Conor McPherson, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a grisly dark comedy, complete with dead cats, severed limbs and a whole lot of blood. While it is going on, you're not completely sure the point it's making, but it is laugh out loud funny. And when the end comes -- at 90 minutes, this is about the right length for a play, rather than the 2:45 Rock N Roll -- you understand how sharp a commentary about the IRA and the "troubles in Ireland" it is. Bloody brilliant. And having loved both this and McDonagh's The Pillowman, but being a bit lukewarm about McPherson's recent (and acclaimed) The Seafarer and Shining City, well, I think McDonagh might not only be Ireland's best working playwright, but perhaps even the world's. 

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