There are stories within stories, like an elaborate game of Russian dolls. There is humour in abundance — broad and black and breaking through in the least amusing situations imaginable.
Just as we accept one version of events as being likely we are forced to revise that judgment. But then, of course, we are deep into McDonagh country where such things are presented as quite normal. Later on in the play, Katurian and his brother Michal are reunited after years of separation in his jail cell.
The secret police might better be described as secretive police, as layer after layer of character and back-story are revealed. Even as a hard-boiled policeman type character, Adrian Pang manages to layer Tupolski with additional layers of complexity later on when his backstory is revealed.
There is pathos, tenderness and brutality. A bloody good way to start off their season, and a harbinger of more great shows to come. Noyes is particularly affecting as the protective brother, a writer wholly committed to the enduring value of writing and a belief that what matters in the world is the word, the story.
Some of their distasteful attitudes and bullying behaviour stem from dark deeds in their own personal lives. All four give strong performances. Predictably with this playwright, the structure is not linear or conventionally coherent.
But the cast and creative team are very experienced, and handle the staging with aplomb, bringing the nightmares of the play to life in all its gruesome detail. As Michal, Sharpe carries off the challenging part of the young, simple-minded boy, although some of his language — even a passing reference to Shakespeare — seems unlikely for someone with that level of intellectual disability.
The set allowed for some rapid changes, and we were impressed at the split second transitions between scenes, and the detail that went into it.
A single slide of a door would result in the transformation from police station to storybook world, and really immersed the audience into the world with how elaborate it was.
There are several big themes contending for our attention — power and its abuse, the importance of language, of writing and ideas and the value of the outsider to the good of society.
The show continues at the Gaiety until 5th February. As more stories are revealed, the plots become more and more deranged and sadistic, in which their characters portrayed by Bright Ong, Victoria Mintey and Prudence Rivero are killed or hurt in increasingly violent ways.
In the end, however, the play has its own skewed coherence and makes its points.
Despite the disturbing nature of the brothers and their history, this was a very emotional reunion, and it was the power of familial relationships that triumphs in mood over the overarching darkness of the play.Good theatre suspends you in reality.
Good theatre captures a moment in time that could be now. And The Pillowman does this superbly. This is, indeed, a deeply disturbing play, chiefly because it could be real. It all begins with some dark stories.
A writer has written /5. The Pillowman of the title is one of the less horrifying fictional images due to its benevolent nature in helping children, but a real life ‘pillowman’ does make an. First staged inThe Pillowman returns to the stage, once again deftly helmed by the indomitable Tracie Pang and an incredible cast and creative team.
Ramesh Adhikari Drama Prof. Jill Brumer December 8, Play Critique II The Pillowman The team of San- Jacinto central college performed the play “The Pillow man” originally written by Martin McDonough on in the Powell Arena Theatre. The Pillowman Town Hall Theatre, Galway **** Somebody must have been spreading lies about Katurian K Katurian, for his predicament, in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, could have come directly.
Let’s give the diabolist his due: As The Pillowman demonstrates, Martin McDonagh can manage creepiness as well as anyone, and black humor (however derivatively from Ionesco, Pinter, Mamet, Caryl Churchill, and even Of Mice and Men) with prime acumen.
He would qualify for the Neil LaBute Award but for one thing: His stuff isn’t sexy.Download