Sunday, 11 August 2013

'The Cripple of Inishmaan' Noel Coward Theatre ****

The Michael Grandage Company's opening season has produced two fantastic productions and the third one is just as brilliant. 'The Cripple of Inishmaan' by Martin McDonagh is about a crippled teenage boy Billy, living on the small Irish island of Inishmaan dreams for a better life for himself and when there's a film being made on another island Billy decides to leave Inishmaan to try a make a career in the movies. Billy is conveyed by the world renowned 'Harry Potter' actor Daniel Radcliffe and his performance is nothing but brilliant  as the attention to detail of the disfigured movements were superb and the Irish dialect was spoken with such clarity that I couldn't recognise the actors voice. I think that he has understood and researched his character with a high level of knowledge and portraying Billy with humour and emotion. The performances by Billy's two adopted aunties Kate Osbourne (Ingrid Craigie) and Eileen Osbourne (Gillian Hanna) were incredibly comical and the comedy from their lines seemed not too false and this added to the professionalism of this revival. As well as, I liked the protective qualities that conveyed at both the serious and comedic scenes. The fraught relationship of Johnnypateenmike (Pat Shortt) and Mammy (June Watson) were hilariously conveyed so that we could understand the stupidity of Shortt's character and the drunken persona of Watson's character. I thought that their jibes towards one another reflects on how families today still have arguments that turn out funny in the end. The company's director, Michael Grandage is a master in the art of directing as he directs this production brilliantly because I could see that he has scheduled enough rehearsal time for each of the five productions with the same level of quality. Grandage has created an emotional and amusing production that would appeal to audiences of fifteen plus and works with McDonagh's narrative with such tenacity.  In addition to this,  Grandage and the set and costume designer Christopher Oram seemed to have worked with one another amazingly well and Oram's vision of creating a small Irish island and a small community on what I assume to be on a low budget and on the West End stage was nothing more than extraordinary.  I think the saying three is a magic number can be identified with this production and I do hope that the forth production in the season ' A Midsummer Night's Dream' wll be on par to this one.

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