Have a read at some of the reviews and press for Decadent Theatre Company's production of The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh.
“Terrific performances by Peter Campion as the defiant writer, and Michael Ford-Fitzgerald as his damaged brother Michal are supported by the good cop, bad cop combination of David McSavage’s Tupolski and Gary Lydon’s Ariel. The play is overlong, weighed down by McDonagh’s penchant for repetition. But the chilling stories, and McDonagh’s concerns about the influence of the state – ‘We like executing writers,’ says Tupolski. ‘Dimwits we can execute any day of the week’ – make this an unsettling, must-see production.”
“It is an unquestionably superlative production of a marvellous, thought-provoking play, to the point of being pretty well faultless. Directed tautly and sensitively by Andrew Flynn in a superbly executed and imaginative set by Owen MacCarthaigh, the play features Peter Campion as Katurian, David McSavage as Tupolski, and Gary Lydon as Ariel. All are magnificent, but it is Michael Ford-FitzGerald who is the most memorable as the insanely sane mentally handicapped brother Michal (sic) The “stories” are acted in mime by Jarlath Tivnan, Kate Murray, Peter Shine, Tara Finn and Rosa Makela. The Pillowman is well worth travelling for. Decadent Theatre Company and the Lyric Belfast have given The Pillowman its Irish premiere (at the Gaiety in Dublin; and touring to Everyman, Cork; and the Lyric).”
“Gary Lydon is superb, building from a tough-guy start, and working the difficult ambiguities of the script to find its buried emotional core. David McSavage, a super comedian making his theatre debut, starts well with a strong ruthless presence and excellent comic timing. Peter Campion as the writer has perfect leading man DNA and Michael Ford-FitzGerald plays the damaged brother utterly persuasively.”
“McDonagh’s play creates an artful mesh between reality and fiction and Decadent Theatre Company, entrusted with the play’s belated Irish premiere, respond to it with a clear sighted and brilliantly imaginative production… Decadent’s production makes it something more enjoyable, probing, diaphanous and unsettling. Anyone with a higher threshold for McDonagh should add another star to the rating above. Perhaps even two.”
“This shifting, sinewy plotting, wedded to McDonagh’s provocative comedy and wordplay, provides a delicious treat, with David McSavage and Gary Lydon as interrogators putting in particularly enjoyable.
“The four-man cast of Lydon, McSavage, Peter Campion as Katurian and Michael Ford-FitzGerald his brother, is so spell-bindingly perfect that McDonagh must certainly have written The Pillowman with the actors in mind. And director Andrew Flynn has done an Oscar worthy job for what is the first Irish production of the play by Decadent Theatre Company.”
When you realise you’re laughing out loud during talk of child murder, abuse and torture you know you’re well and truly in Martin McDonagh territory. If you’re a fan of McDonagh’s movies you should go and see this play; if you’re a fan of theatre – or live performance in general – you should go and see this play; if you think you boast that ‘renowned Belfast humour’ go and test that with this play and if you’ve never been to the theatre before – especially if you’ve never been to the theatre before – go and see this play. You’ll get no soft landing with The Pillowman but I’d swear you’ll be back for more