WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHERE: Noel Coward Theatre
WHEN: 29/6, press night 4/7, runs to 8/9/18
RUN TIME: 110 minutes (including interval)
It’s already been quite the year for playwright Martin McDonagh who should’ve won bigger at the Oscars for Three Billboards and now sees Poldark heartthrob Aidan Turner reviving one of his best-known plays.
- Read on for reasons including whether Turner’s performance is a showstopper
Turner plays Padraic, described as too mad for the IRA, who returns home to Inishmore in 1993 after learning his beloved cat Wee Thomas isn’t well while torturing a drug dealer.
Fans of Three Billboards will revel in the black comedy that runs through everything here as McDonagh sidesteps the political motivation of Padraic instead focusing on the personal relationships he shares with those at his home.
The focus on the importance of pets rather than people skewers the madness of Padraic’s world view and it’s a theme never far from the surface here.
Poldark fans might be disappointed to learn that he remains with shirt throughout the play but his performance is electric, in the running for our Best Theatre Actor monsta, and brimming with the charisma required to convince as a thug propelled by flawed logic.
The key perhaps to the play’s success is that it is a violent play that is thoroughly anti-violence, similar ground to Three Billboards.
Turner is surrounded by strong support and we very much enjoyed the rest of the cast with Charlie Murphy as Mairead and Chris Walley as the mulleted Davey especially memorable.
McDonagh’s new play A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter starring Jim Broadbent and Phil Daniels takes its first bow at the Bridge Theatre in October and this laugh-out-loud revival tees it up perfectly.
Inishmore is probably the funniest comedy on at the moment in the West End and Turner’s comic turn at its heart is must-see.