4YE Reviews: There’s A Mixture Of Violence And Irony In The Latest Production Of The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

Credit: Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

Have you ever seen a guy too crazy for the IRA? Well, you are about to meet one. Martin McDonagh’s play The Lieutenant of Inishmore is back on stage in London. It runs until the 8th of September at the Noel Coward Theatre – so plenty of time to check it out.

In this dark comedy (first produced in 2001), we first get to meet Donny and Davey. They are faced with the problem of a dead cat. Surely a reason to be sad but there is more to it. The cat’s owner turns out to be a much bigger problem for them. Donny was looking after the cat as it was his son’s, Padraic.

Padraic is a Lieutenant in the INLA and has an insanely violent temper. The dead cat, Wee Thomas, was his best and only friend in the world for the past 15 years. When Donny calls his son to tell him that Wee Thomas is poorly in order to give him the bad news in stages, it doesn’t go very well. Padraic, who is in the middle of torturing a drug pusher named James, decides to head home and so the bloody chaos on the beautiful Irish island begins.

Martin McDonagh created a story that is just as funny as it is dramatic. The writing itself is outstanding and has some big surprising elements for those who are not familiar with the play. Long before he wrote Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri  McDonagh gave us the proof of his talent. The characters of the play are a mixed bag and their interactions with each other show off their best, worst, most ironic and funniest sides.

The Michael Grandage directed production has Poldark star Aidan Turner as the violent Lieutenant, along with an incredibly talented cast. Turner is both hilariously funny and fearsome. He reflects the madness of the character just as well as the deep reasonable connection he has to the things that really matter to him. He is a man that got mad but is still a human being with feelings and staunchness. The cast also includes Denis Conway as Donny, Chris Walley as Davey, Brian Martin as James and Charlie Murphy as Mairead, who is the sister of Davey. In the roles of IRA members that really shake things up, we have Will Irvine as Christy, Daryl McCormack as Brendan and Julian Moore-Cook as Joey.

The play is a mixture of violence, torture, irony and dark humor. If you are open to those things and don’t have any problem with plenty of blood on stage, The Lieutenant of Inishmore has a good chance to become one of your favorite plays. The play runs at the Noel Coward Theatre in London until the 8th of September. Tickets can be booked at the official website. We think it’s totally worth it.