The Cripple of Inishmaan**** (Noel Coward Theatre, 12 July 2013)

Posted: July 12, 2013 in Theatre

photo-101As Martin McDonagh has now become best known for writing and directing cult crime films, it is particularly interesting to look again at his early bitter-sweet and wistful comedy. It tells of a small Irish community in 1934 and how the arrival of a Hollywood film crew raises hopes and dreams of a better life. McDonagh’s script creates a rich group of characters and is peppered with very amusing lines and eloquent pleas for understanding those with disabilities. Daniel Radcliffe in the title role captures perfectly his character’s resilience, frustration and optimism; this is more than just star casting, he is genuinely good. However, it seems unfair to single him out because this is an ensemble piece in which all the characters are fleshed out beautifully by superb acting. This is the third in Michael Grandage’s star-studded season; it shares the high production values of its two predecessors and maintains the very high standard.

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