A Skull In Connemara
Town Hall Theatre, Galway Previews Jan 31-Feb 2 8pm €12 Opens Feb 4-9 8pm €18/€16 tht.ie
“To be in this position is strange, because I’m coming to theatre with a disrespect for it,” said an ascendant Martin McDonagh back in 1997. “I’m coming from a film fan’s perspective on theatre.” It’s hard to find a more revealing explanation for the success of McDonagh’s work, nor a more telling critique.
For anyone unfamiliar with the foundations of his stage work, try shuffling a boxset of Tarantino movies into the complete works of John Millington Synge and you’ll get some idea: a septic vision of a west of Ireland inhabited by chronically bored characters, cartoonish violence, mangled syntax and little consequence – a slap in the face of a jaded audience.
The excess of A Skull in Connemara, the second part of McDonagh’s Leenane trilogy, might be best summed up by one merry sequence in which a gravedigger suspected of his wife’s murder is helped to smash a few recently exhumed skulls into smithereens.
A play that comes so close to giddy Grand Guignol requires a steadying counterbalance, something Decadent Theatre’s new touring production seems to acknowledge with its casting. Here John Olohan, Frankie McCafferty and Brid Ni Neachtain are assigned to guide the caricatures back to something like humanity.
It’s a tough order, but one way or another, they’ll get through your skull.Can’t See That? Catch This
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