I really enjoy watching The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which started previews last Friday and officially opened last night. Actually, I really like watching the audience. Does that make me a bad person?
The show is classic McDonagh--funny...bloody...bloody funny--and people are swinging wildly between holding their stomachs as they gasp with laughter and hiding their eyes when it starts getting gory.
If you've seen the show, I'm curious to hear -- what did you think?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
The title of this post comes from one of my favorite scenes, featuring Brendan, Joey, and Christy. It also includes this longer quote, which I absolutely love:
JOEY:...I've the balls to take on any feck. No matter how big or grand. But what I don't have, I don't have to go out of me way to pick on wee fellas I'm twenty times bigger than and who are unarmed, and who never will be armed because they have no arms. Just paws.
(In the photo: Daniel Kreuger hangs upside down alongside Blake Ellis. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com)
That happens to be one of my favorite quotes too...
McDonagh sure is a hell of a writer. Few can set up a plot and give you all the explication you need with so much consistent wit and wordplay. One of the things we discussed in rehearsals was how a big part of an actor's job working on a script like this is to just stay out of its way!
My wife and I saw the show this past Saturday and were greatly looking forward to it. We had been in Ireland this summer and loved the people and the land. Unfortunately the same could not be said about this play. The trouble we had with it was that it just didn't seem funny to us at all. Not funny, not profound, not nuanced, not much of anything except astounding special effects. As a physician I have seen my share of gore and didn't feel bothered by it, but also felt that it became goringly boring. It was like watching a one trick pony performing the same trick over and over and over... I couldn't help thinking that the theaters that "refused to produce this play" (program notes) were not making some conservative anti-violence non-Bereleyesque anti-free speech statement but rather that the play was a stinker. Well, we have liked the rest of the season quite a bit so that is still a winning percentage.
Even though I was prepared for the violence I cringed. Telling people about it I compare the play to "Fargo" which eveyone loves (pretty much)and has it's share of gore. But seeing it in 3-D is tough. And in relating how great of a theatrical experience it was, I have not been able to talk anyone in to going to see it. I hope it does bring in the crowds for BRT! It was brilliantly performed and executed (excuse the pun-or not)!
I have not seen this play and do not intend to, as I did not like McDonagh’s “The Pillowman” back in 2007, which was also supposed to be witty and hilarious. I understand McDonagh wrote both plays when he was young, in his mid-20s, and with “The Pillowman” at least, it showed. I kept waiting for the payoff, but it seemed there was none; we were supposed to take the whole absurd story literally. Gratuitous and extreme violence tells us that violence is bad. Not witty, not funny, and not even original.
And I never thought Quentin Tarantino had anything to say, either.
Enough with the graphic dead cat, already. Yuck!!!
Sorry! Gratuitous gore left us upset. There should have been a disclaimer. We did appreciate the way the plot wove together. However,exposing a random assortment of theater supporters to such trauma without regard for the consequences in their lives is pathological. How many of us have had personal difficulty in our lives since seeing the play?
Everything! This is a work of pure genius. The ending is the best I've ever seen in a lifetime of theater-going. Wee Thomas strolls in to the perfect last line: "It was all for nothing." How gratifying to see such high humor combined with such probing commentary on our times.
The author has a unique way of voicing his anti war sentiments! War is stupid, futile, violent and useless especially in Ireland. Yes, gratuitous violence, yes, sometimes difficult and yes, brilliant!
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