The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

Noel Coward Theatre
St Martin's Lane, London

Public Previews: 23 June 2018
Opens: 4 July 2018
Closes: 8 September 2018

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Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

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Show times
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 3.00pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 3.00pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows
Note: Sat 23 June at 7.30pm only
Note: Wed 27 June at 7.30pm only
Note: Wed 4 July at 7.00pm only

Runs ? hours and ? minutes

Seat prices
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(plus booking fees if applicable)

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

A major revival of Martin McDonagh's dark black comedy The Lieutenant Of Inishmore in London starring Aidan Turner

Set in the West of Ireland, Thomas the cat is found dead on a lonely road on Inishmore. Is it an accident or an execution? Whichever, his death must be concealed at all costs from his owner, 'Mad' Padraic, when he returns from a stint of torture and chip-shop bombing in Northern Island: he loves his cat more than life itself.

A wicked black comedy on the taboo subjects of Irish paramilitaries, extreme violence, guns and cats, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is at once shocking and farcical, yet devastating in its dissection of The Troubles.

The cast features Aidan Turner as 'Padraic' with Charlie Murphy as 'Mairead', Denis Conway as 'Donny', Will Irvine as 'Christy', Brian Martin as 'James', Daryl McCormack as 'Brendan', Julian Moore-Cook as 'Joey' and Chris Walley as 'Davey'. Directed by Michael Grandage with designs by Christopher Oram, lighting by Neil Austin, and music and sound by Adam Cork.

PLEASE NOTE: This production contains scenes of extreme violence, as well as several episodes of sustained gunfire that some people might finding disturbing. Therefore this play is recommended for people 16 years of age and over.

Originally presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2001, this is the second play in Martin McDonagh's Aran Isles Trilogy which began with the 1997 play The Cripple of Inishmaan at the National Theatre. The third play, The Banshees of Inisheer, has not been publisher or produced. Martin McDonagh's other West End plays include Hangmen.

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore in London at the Noel Coward Theatre public previews from 23 June 2018, opens on 4 July 2018 and closes on 8 September 2018

Original West End Production 2002

Previewed 11 April 2001, Opened 7 May 2001), Closed 12 October 2001 at The Other Place (Stratford)
Opened 20 December 2001, Closed 23 February 2002 at the Barbican Pit Theatre (London)
Previewed 21 June 2002, Opened 26 June 2002, Closed 2 November 2002 at the Garrick Theatre (London West End)

The original cast at the RSC Pit Theatre in Stratford and Barbican Pit Theatre in London featured David Wilmot as 'Padraic', Glenn Chapman as 'Joey', Kerry Condon as 'Mairead', Trevor Cooper as 'Donny', Stuart Goodwin as 'Brendan', Colin Mace as 'Christy', Conor Maloney as 'James' and Owen Sharpe as 'Davey'.

This production was originally due to open at The Other Place in Stratford on Wednesday 18 April 2001, unfortunately the weekend beforehand Owen Sharpe suffered a serious wrist injury and the official opening was delayed until the week starting Monday 6 May 2001.

The original London West End cast at the Garrick Theatre featured Peter McDonald as 'Padraic', Glenn Chapman as 'Joey', Elaine Cassidy as 'Mairead', Trevor Cooper as 'Donny', Luke Griffin as 'Brendan', Peter Gowen as 'Christy', Paul Lloyd as 'James' and Donal Gleeson as 'Davey'.

Directed by Wilson Milam with designs by Francis O'Connor, lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Matt McKenzie.

"Martin McDonagh's play The Lieutenant Of Inishmore opened in Stratford last year, allegedly rejected by the National Theatre and the Royal Court because it was too politically explosive. More like they misjudged its brilliance. Doubtless its astonishingly well sustained tone of absurd humour made little sense on the page. I hope they're regretting it because the play deserves to be a huge hit. Part Jacobean revenge drama, it also owes something to Joe Orton's fabulous bad taste and to Tarantino's blood-fests, and yet remains thrillingly original. The root of the comedy springs from the way in which horrors are discussed and executed with a matter-of-fact homeliness, as if bombing a chip shop was as ordinary as mashing potatoes. McDonagh dares to send up terrorism by revealing its practitioners as mindlessly violent sentimental 'eejits' who merrily murder and maim innocent people but weep over dead pets. The IRA wouldn't let Mad Padraic in because he was 'mad enough for seven people'. So he joined the INLA and he's never happier than when he is removing the toenails of anyone who has upset him, then giving the poor creature the bus fare to the hospital because 'the last thing you want is septic toes'. When, mid-torture, he gets a phone call telling him that his beloved cat, Wee Thomas, is poorly, he blubs like a baby, hangs up his scalpel and sets off home... All hell and worse breaks loose, finishing up with walls running with blood and a stage knee-deep in body parts and dead cats... 'Tis deadly, as they say in Ireland, and there's no higher praise than that." The Mail on Sunday (at the Garrick Theatre)

"The Lieutenant of Inishmore portrays a terrorist subculture in which there seems no reason why splinter groups shouldn't go on splintering ad infinitum. The leader of one such group, Padraic, is first seen torturing a drug-dealer somewhere in Northern Ireland; then he is summoned home to Inishmore on the pretext that his pet cat is sick. His colleagues are planning a purge, and we are soon plunged into a world of bloody reprisals - and one where Padraic isn't alone in setting far more store by the life of a cat than that of a human being. By the last scene the stage is thick with ketchup. Corpses are being dismembered on the kitchen floor, and the killing doesn't stop there. The main point about the play is that it is ferociously funny. Perhaps it shouldn't be, but it is. In the past I've found the violence in McDonagh's plays, other than The Beauty Queen of Leenane, distasteful but here he shows a perfect sense, as Cocteau said, of how far you can go too far. And even that wouldn't be enough if there weren't a serious point as well, if the play didn't demonstrate how the hardest of fanatics feeds on the softest of sentimentality." The Sunday Telegraph (at the Barbican Pit Theatre)

"Its first scene, and every one thereafter, starts brilliantly. Davey and Donny are staring at a dead cat. It belongs to Donny's psychotic son, Padraic, who, on hearing that Wee Thomas is ailing, quits torturing a hapless hash pusher and returns to Inishmore. There he meets the terrorist cohorts who, to revenge Padraic's forming of a splinter group, pulverised his pussy. The ensuing events confuse the answer to what one-eyed thug Christy had thought a simple question: "Is it happy cats or an Ireland free we're after?" The comedy is as broad as it sounds, and nullifies the menace: threatened at gunpoint by a sociopath, teenage Davey questions his aggressor's grammar. There's no room, either, for ambiguity: no one could think of McDonagh's terrorists as freedom fighters. They're sexist, emotionally stunted and concerned with the implications for tourism. Inishmore's shock tactics and demented logic recall the works of Orton. While Orton explicitly confronted audiences with their own double standards, not someone else's, McDonagh's scorn of pig-headed Utopianism and false history has a wide application... McDonagh's dialogue is freewheeling and "feck"-spattered, his satirical sideswipes frequent and barbed. The noisome conclusion, which sees Davey and Donny ankle-deep in blood, blithely hacking at mutilated corpses, serves only to confirm: you've never seen anything like this." The Independent on Sunday (The Other Place)

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 21 June 2002, opened on 26 June 2002 and closed on 2 November 2002