Top positive review
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A bloody triumph
on 12 December 2003
Padriac opens the front door wide. Standing there are Christy, Joey and Brandon... Padraic laughs, happy to see them.
Padraic: Christy! What the feck are you fellas doing out this way? Come on in ahead for yourselves. I'm just in the middle of shooting me dad.
In Martin McDonagh's black comedy 'The Lieutenant of Inishmore', Padraic, a man refused entry to the I.R.A for being 'too mad', reacts badly to the news that his cat is 'ill'. Following his immediate return from Northern Ireland, having left his usual duties of torturing and terrorism, the situation goes from bad to worse for Donny, Padraic's weary father, and Davey, his teenage next door neighbour.
One of the funniest plays I have seen, this political satire is also the most shocking. Banned in many parts of Ireland, the play is characterised by a surfeit of violence that is fortunately mitigated by its humour. Significantly this is not, as many critics like to crow, violence for violence's sake; it is a deeply cutting, significant statement about the nature of Ireland and its troubles. A final twist in the story leaves the audience left with an inescapable sense of pointlessness, and of how so much is lost for so little gain.
Without its witty writing, 'The Lieutenant of Inishmore' would be unwatchable. However, humour is an intrinsic part of the play, and an aspect that makes its message all the more memorable. A play that draws upon a rich heritage of political theatre to create somethingthing unique, I would recommend it to all.