‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’

A great seat, of course.

A popular choice because of its lead, Aidan Turner, as Padraic – the swooning was palpable when he first appeared on stage in a body-hugging singlet. I was concerned that he would be all brawn not no brain, but he gave a fine performance.

He was well supported by Denis Conway (Donny) and Chris Walley (Davey) whose accents were perfect for the dialogue, and you couldn’t help liking them as the buffoons.

Martin McDonagh’s play has an odd premise, the death of a cat, but it gives relief being set against the stark singleness of anti-English sentiment – compared to say, The Ferryman (God that dragged, made only bearable by bumping into Ben Affleck as I fled the theatre).

About three-quarters through I remembered that I had seen the Neil Armfield production at Belvoir Street (it was the gore that gave it away) but I don’t remember it being as funny as this version directed by Michael Grandage. I vividly recall being horrified by the gruesomeness of the blood and guts in Neil’s production. It’s lasting memory was thinking ‘why would anyone want to watch this’. However this time around I accepted the stage awash with guts and continued smiling at the humour. I didn’t think the play was hilarious, but amusing.

I certainly would recommend this production.

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