From an announcement of the “Maidment Theater” in Auckland (New Zealand):
RECOMMENDED FOR PERSONS 16 YEARS AND OLDER
(…) In an unspecified (but eerily familiar) totalitarian state, writer Katurian Katurian entertains his younger brother with shocking fairy tales. But when grisly murders that mirror these tales slice through the town, two sardonic secret policemen come knocking.
Martin McDonagh’s dramas are pretty well known in Poland (very often translated and performed). The second Irish author conquering Polish theatres is Conor McPherson – “Weir”, “Dublin Carrol”. One of my favourite actor Krzysztof Majchrzak took part in those two performances. He was fantastic with his inner concentration and – if I can say so – silent anger, stored energy ready to blow up in every moment.(we can see him now in “Inland Empire” by David Lynch). He should take part in Mc Donagh’s dramas, too.
Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman is not comfortable theatre. Having toyed wildly with Irish forms (The Cripple of Inishmaan, Beauty Queen of Leenane) to create pitch-black, tasteless melodramas, he has now turned his considerable sardonic talents to European traditions. The Pillowman owes as much to the Brothers Grimm as to Kafka and Beckett and the result is a disquieting nightmare of a play that creates its own dark fairy tales.
Natasha Hay is right when she write about pitch-black atmosphere in McDonagh’s dramas. I saw “The Cripple of Innishmaan” and next I spend an hour, sitting in silent “tete a tete” with my thoughts. I was deeply impressed with very special “micro-climate” of that performance.
By the way, it seems fantastic that we can have similar (and different, of course) emotions looking at the same performances being far away (on the other end of our world), write and read about heritage of Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Brothers Grimm. And we know, what is going on. I can feel that we are really together.