Simply stunning. Have seen it twice as I was worried I might have missed nuances the first time. Enjoyed it more the second. Cillian is one the greatest actors of his generation living in Britain and if he gets dual nationality and does more work like this, will be knighted in my lifetime I hope. Such an intelligent, sensitive, funny and brave actor not to mention deeply sexy. - cillyfilly
25 Jun 12
I saw this last week and left with a mixed reaction. Murphy was incredible - his timing, presence, vulnerability and persona were incredible. The stage, lighting and sound design were also incredible. The problem was the story. Fair enough Thomas Magill thought everyone around him were heathens but nothing really happened beyond this. It was a shame really because the performance and staging really deserved a better script! That said for a play with a shaky script I was completely hooked for 95 minutes. So a play of contradictions results in a slightly contradictory review! - Maggers Maguire
31 May 12
Agreed with the below average reviews, great actor working with poor script and literature - wonderful stage set mind. One man / woman shows are always amazing but the writing is critical for a 5 stars show. The audience were there for the actor and generally quite moved by the content. - ade
15 May 12
I think people are painting their own dreams and ideas on the play, without the play actually saying anything. Another odd choice from the National - James
15 May 12
I am still trying to come to terms with what I saw yesterday in the Lyttleton theatre - I am deeply moved, by the play and of course by the magnificent acting of Cillian Murphy! How he does it, beats me: this energy, magic, tenderness and brutality he brings to the role - one of the best acting performances I have ever seen.
Heart-rending stuff. deeply moving - what the play is about? It is about us, about our obsessions, our loneliness, the abuse we give and we get, about hopes and dreams and how they can get dashed to pieces. Illusions and what they do to us. Essential "condition humaine". - Regine Schöttge
11 May 12
Simply stunning. Both Cillian Murphy and the technical team should win awards for this. Murphy is mesmerising as the deeply disturbed Thomas Magill. He conjours up the folk of Innisfree via tape recordings and imitating them himself. He is a religious zealot appalled by their behaviour and devoted to his mother. A great exploration of mental illness, small town life and the dangers of religious fundamentalism. If it sounds bleak, there are many funny moments and beautiful poetry in Enda Walsh's language. - Karen G
11 May 12
Brilliant. I found myself completely lost in a small town in Ireland for the duration of the play. Immersed in the characters and the artistry of the set. Cillian's performance is compelling and not to be missed. An original piece of storytelling. Go and see it! - Jo
08 May 12
Nice set, but Cillian is a great actor left with a poor story and script. Really disappointed. - Andrew
02 May 12
Last night I described Enda Walsh’s play as ‘Beckett on acid’. It’s the story of Thomas Magill, a loner in Inisfree, sometime evangelist, who converses with characters from the village (and his dead parents!), all of whom are on tape or created by Thomas in conversations with himself. It’s a stage picture of an extraordinary character rather than a play, but it’s riveting.
Cillian Murphy’s tour de force really is something special. He occupies the vast Lyttleton space (which seems wider and is deeper than it has ever been) with an athleticism that is breathtaking. He runs, throws things and rants. He is accompanied by all manner of sounds and lights with the stage a performer itself (this is virtuoso technical staging). You can’t take your eyes off him, dripping in sweat, inhabiting his character like you rarely see.
I’m not one for monologues, but this is an exception as it doesn’t conform to the static stereotype. It’s a thrillingly dramatic 90 minutes which you’d be mad to miss. - Gareth James
02 May 12
This is easily the least enjoyable ninety-five minutes I have spent in a theatre in 2012. Cillian Murphy, some OTT object hurling aside, tries hard with the material available, but, by the end, Thomas Magill wasn't the only one with violence on his mind, as I was feeling severely ill-disposed towards Enda Walsh for putting me through such unengaging tedium. What drives humans to mental illness and psychopathic behaviour ought to be a fascinating subject to explore, but Walsh manages to pull off the trick of dehumanising his character to the extent that there is nothing left to relate to. There is simply no connection with Thomas Magill and one just does not care how or why he has arrived at this juncture. Such narrative as there is, told through recollections, recordings and hallucinations, is revealed at a painfully slow pace. The significance of some of the seemingly random lighting cues also had me perplexed. It's rare I believe a play merits five stars; even rarer that those involved deserve the castigation of a single star, but I have no hesitation in bestowing that "honour" on Misterman. - Martin Barber
24 Apr 12
Great performance from Cillian Murphy but took a while to tune in to the play, not helped by the fact that on the night I attended, a section of the audience were laughing uproariously at a number of the lines early on which I am not sure were intended to be that funny.
The later stages of the play build up to a powerful climax and overall the play was well worth watching-not sure I agree, however, that the performance was on a par with Rylance's Rooster! - DCH
23 Apr 12
Brilliant acting and performance, with Cillian proving what a great actor he is, but a terrible play - I was not alone in leaving the theatre wondering what on earth that had all been about. Great set. - playsareus
22 Apr 12
This is like Krapp's Last Tape crossed with Psycho. It is basically a monologue where one crumbling mind, Thomas Magill (played by Cillian Murphy) schizophrenically acts out, in a vast crumbling warehouse, the voices he remembers from one fateful day in his hometown of Innisfree. As in Krapp's Last Tape, he has on hand recordings he made that day, and he plays them back so he can talk back to them. He tries to reenact history in such a way that he can change it. It is like Psycho because he talks to his mother in a caring but patronising way, despite the fact she is not there. And she talks back to him in an equally coddling stifling way, by way of his imagination, as well as the tapes. This play could not be called fun by any stretch of the imagination. It aims to, and succeeds in giving Irish Catholicism, a mighty kicking, as well as reflecting a lot of bitterness beneath the surface platitudes of people's day to day lives (all astonishingly played by Murphy playing McGill reanacting them). Murphy is the reason to see this difficult play. He gives one of the best performances anyone has ever given. - steveatplays
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