A friend of mine came to visit from Canada to see this play, as they’re a huge fan of Aidan Turner, so I organised some tickets for us to see The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at the Noel Coward Threatre and off we went.
The brutal comedy by Martin Donagh centres around Turner’s character of Padraic, an Irish freedom fighter deemed too crazy for the IRA. The plot goes from mad to bonkers in this bloody, comedic romp. Padraic returns to his home town to find that his cat, Wee Thomas, has been killed and vows revenge on those he deems responsible. Comedy couldn’t get any darker than this, as the audience is made to laugh during scenes of torture, chuckle at murderous rage, and guffaw through bloody scenes of slaughter.
As violent and mad as Padraic acts, Turner embues the character with a sort of comedic innocence, especially when it’s about his beloved cat, that takes the edge off the character and makes him strangely compelling even in his violent acts. While blood splatters across the stage, we still feel for Padraic’s grief in having lost his little cat. The plot spins from crazy coincidence to hilarious misunderstanding while presenting a clear, obvious, admitted terrorist as someone who has reason to act in the way he does. Crazy, overdrawn, toddler-logic, very dark reasons as they may be.
I wish they hadn’t had an interval during this play, as it took away from the intesity and bizarre hilarity of it and wasn’t so long that it couldn’t have been presented in one go, but that truly is my only complaint here. From the gorgeous stage to the dark humour and the fantastic acting, this show is truly something else. Highly recommend this bonkers production if you enjoy dark comedy and want to find yourself laughing at scenes you’d never thought you’d laugh at. Oh, and it is quite splattery, so mind the blood!
Six out of six rainbow sloths from me!