Dark, Funny, Internationally Renowned Play Making Its First Run in St. John’s

The Pillowman

Dubbed a “blindingly black comedy” by the New York Times, The Pillowman, will be running in town this week from March 27th-30th, at 8pm, with a Pay What You Can Matinee 2pm on the 30th, at The Barbara Barrett Theatre at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

The Pillowman has never been done here in St. John’s. It was written by acclaimed Irishman Martin McDonagh. Dubbed “black comedy at its finest,” the subject matter deals with oppression and artistic censorship, thematically, while its plot focuses on an author of dark children’s books who is living in a totalitarian society. When real life murders start mimicking his gruesome stories, this writer, named Katurian, finds himself trapped in an interrogation room with two brutal police officers  “willing to leverage anything against him to get a confession, including Katurian’s childlike brother, Michal, and the thing Katurian holds most dear: his writing.”

The position he’s put in unravels Katurian’s past for the audience, exposing his family’s horrific secrets, “and the choice of who or what gets to survive the interrogation room: Himself, his brother, or his work. Haunting and hilarious, The Pillowman, offers a unique perspective on oppression in society.” It’s considered a masterpiece of dark Irish comedy, and has bagged awards like the “Oliver Award for Best New Play,” “New York Drama Circle’s Award for Best New Foreign Play,” and the “Evening Standard Award for Best New Play.”

It’s the notable Rabbittown Theatre Company who’ll be pulling off the play. Courtney Brown will be directing it, and the cast will feature Aiden Flynn, Steve O’Connell, Michael Rhodri Smith, and Darren Ivany. Ivany is also the artistic associate of Rabbittown Theatre company, a company with a knack for quality plays that challenge their audience. He’s playing the lead role of Katurian, and has been quoted as saying that McDonagh “incorporates humour into the [dark play] to alleviate the audience’s tension and really allow them to enjoy it as well as be challenged.”

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