McDonagh’s Controversial Pillowman Tours RegionsDate: 5 November 2004
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 16 Apr 2004), Martin McDonagh’s Olivier Award-winning but highly controversial play The Pillowman will embark on a regional tour in 2005. The recast National Theatre production will open at Oxford Playhouse on 27 January 2005 before continuing, until 19 March 2005, to six further venues.
In The Pillowman, a writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town.
The premiere production - directed by John Crowley and featuring David Tennant, Adam Godley, Nigel Lindsay and Whatsonstage.com Best Supporting Actor Jim Broadbent – had an extended sell-out season at the NT Cottesloe from November 2003 to March 2004. It’s designed by Scott Pask, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Paul Arditti. Casting for the tour has not yet been announced.
Though born and raised in London, Martin McDonagh had, prior to The Pillowman, set all of his published plays in his parents' native Ireland. These critically acclaimed but often controversial works have included The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore as well The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara and Lonesome West, known collectively as The Leenane Trilogy. Though its Eastern European setting distinguishes The Pillowman, in common with its predecessors, it comes complete with a warning that it "contains scenes and language that may offend and is not suitable for children".
The play’s regional dates are part of the National’s fresh commitment to tour new work for 16 weeks of the year. Later in 2005, the current production of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys will also hit the road (See News, 7 Sep 2004). Following Oxford, The Pillowman will visit Bath, Brighton, Newcastle, Warwick, Salford and Cork.
- by Terri Paddock