18 July 2023
Duke of York Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
I didn’t know anything about The Pillowman, I generally like going into the theatre without too much background information, so I can let the show do the work without any prior expectations. This one definitely isn’t one for the paint of heart though, so be warned, if you do not enjoy the horror genre in general, skip this one! If, like me, you do enjoy a good bit of horror, it’s definitely one to book for.
In a totalitarian regime, an author is questioned by police, as a string of recent murders mirror some of her stories exactly. Through the course of the interrogation, her stories are being closely examined and retold, drawing a picture of a deeply troubled mind, but does writing these stories automatically make her responsible for the real life events?
The show is very dark, at times quite violent and haunting, but beautifully told. I loved all the morbid little stories being told by the author, some just vocally retold, some acted out, and the slow development of the storyline was spine chilling.
There are a surprising amount of laugh out loud moments between the devastation, and a few quite tender moments as well. While I was mostly fascinated with the dark stories within the story, the overarching question of the culpability of storytellers, or artists in general, of legacies and what we leave behind, is a deeper thread in this dark comedy play.
The Pillowman is an experience, and if you do enjoy this kind of media, I’d recommend you get yourself a ticket and see it for yourself.