In a few short weeks, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy what the Brits had the pleasure of seeing last summer… Daniel Radcliffe’s return to the stage. Following his successful run as Billy Claven in Michael Grandage’s revival of The Cripple of Inishmaan at London’s Noel Coward Theatre, Radcliffe returns to the Great White Way as the production plays a limited Broadway run.
This will be Radcliffe’s third time on the New York stage having previously starred in Equus and the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and he’s excited to be back on stage and back in New York.
“All in all, [Inishmaan was] a really, really great experience last year. I love the play… and I love working and living in New York. It’s one of those situations where the chance to spend a lot of time in a city that I love doing a play that I love was really, really exciting,” Radcliffe told EW in an interview ahead of the play’s opening.
Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy is set on the remote island of Inishmaan (just off the coast of Galway, Ireland). The islanders discover that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighbouring island, Inishmore and Cripple Billy (Radcliffe) decides that this is his way off the island to a better life.
Billy lives a life where he is constantly teased and tormented due to his disability, but he doesn’t let this hold him back or dampen his enthusiasm for wanting more for himself, and it is these qualities that Radcliffe loves about Billy. “One of the things I love about Billy is how his ambition and his optimism and his compassion for other people is totally undiminished despite the abuse he suffers constantly.”
Radcliffe cites either Billy in Inishmaan or Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings as the performance he is most proud of. Having seen him in Inishmaan in London last year, I have to agree. He fully embodies Billy and puts in a heartwrenching performance, which draws the audience’s empathy. His physicality in the role is challenging without being over the top, but what I really enjoyed was Billy’s sharp, witty mind and Radcliffe’s dry, sarcastic delivery is spot on and highly entertaining.
Radcliffe is currently filming a new adaptation of Frankenstein. Having successfully conquered fantasy, dark comedy, adventure and musical theatre, what’s next on Radcliffe’s bucket list of genres to explore? “I would love to do a big film musical. I think when they’re done right, they’re incredibly exciting and fun and cool.” However, he is not particularly interested in just any old musical. No they’re too common. He’d be interested in a “bizarre musical” along the lines of John Turturro’s Romance & Cigarettes. Having also seen him in How To Succeed, I was pleasantly surprised with his singing ability and think, depending on the role, he would be great in a musical film.
You can read the full interview with Radcliffe, here.
The Cripple of Inishmaan begins previews April 12 at the Cort Theatre. It opens on April 20 and is currently set to run till July 20.
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