About the Play:
The Cripple of Inishmaan is a full length comedic drama by Martin McDonagh. With this bleak yet uproariously funny play, the Anglo-Irish dramatist fulfills the promise of his award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane while confirming his place in a tradition that extends from Synge to O'Casey and Brendan Behan.
Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1934, the play is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. Word arrives on Inishmaan that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighbouring island of Inishmore to film his documentary Man of Aran. No-one is more excited than Cripple Billy, an unloved boy whose chief occupation has been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him. For Billy is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. And as news of his audacity ripples through his rumour-starved community, The Cripple of Inishmaan becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped and mean-spirited that hope is an affront to its order.
Cast: 4 women, 5 men
What people say:
"Beneath the volley of barbs and loopy postures lies the same bedrock of wistfulness and exasperation that makes Beauty Queen so poignant. Mr. McDonagh has again created characters for whom the line between cruelty and kindness is slender…the script features some unsettlingly surprising demonstrations of both affection and aggression." — The New York Times
"McDonagh's…comic talent appears unlimited, and he also has a way…of mixing up his humor with a touch of the poet and a profound sense of tragedy always dangerously lurking on comedy's untidy fringe. In short, young McDonagh is a playwright to reckon with…." — New York Post
"…McDonagh's storytelling style…has the clarity and power of fable. Each character enters not only with his own idiosyncrasy but with his own distinct idiom. McDonagh skillfully juggles rhythms and repetitions so as to illuminate the sadness, defensiveness and longing for connection underneath the characters' badinage." — The New Yorker
"McDonagh…is at root an Irish realist in the tradition of Synge, O'Casey, Friel and Billy Roche. He is also a born storyteller with a precocious sense of dramatic structure." — The Times (London)
"Mr. McDonagh [is] a realist with rich gifts…[He] is immensely talented and bizarre." — New York Observer
"Mr McDonagh is destined to be one of the theatrical luminaries of the 21st century." — The New Republic
"Martin McDonagh's cruel, but not altogether heartless comedy [and] the sly viciousness and in-bred eccentricity of McDonagh's smalltown anti-heroes." — Daily Telegraph (London)
About the Playwright:
Martin McDonagh is an English-born Irish playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter. He has been resident playwright at the Royal National Theatre in London, and has won numerous awards, including the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. His first play The Beauty Queen of Leenane was nominated for six Tony awards, of which it won four, and the Laurence Olivier Award. His play The Pillowman had its world premiere at the Royal National Theatre and received the Olivier Award. His short film, Six Shooter, won an Academy Award. He also wrote and directed In Bruge, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.