Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman comes to Limerick in first regional tour

Director Andrew Flynn is excited to be bringing Decadent Theatre Company’s production of Martin McDonagh’s award-winning play, The Pillowman, to the Lime Tree Theatre next week.

After a successful national tour last year that played in Cork, Belfast and Dublin, the Theatre Company wanted the opportunity to play regional areas.

Mr Flynn said, “the scale of the production is big. Not including the actors it takes nine people just to get the set in, up and lit. So we applied for a touring grant from the Arts Council and they are supporting us in taking the show around the country.”

Actors from last year’s tour became unavailable, leaving the theatre company to recast which gave this particular run of shows an exciting atmosphere.

“From my perspective it was like starting again,” Mr Flynn said, “You have to rip-up the version of what you created. Every actor brings something different to a performance with their own interpretations which has made it very thrilling for me.”

The Pillowman tells the story of a young writer under police interrogation in an unnamed totalitarian state because his dark stories for children are linked to grisly copycat murders.

Decadent Theatre Company is the first Irish theatre company to perform The Pillowman in the country and so far the tour is bringing in a two-tier audience.

“You have the older audience who knows Martin’s other plays from when he first came onto the theatre scene 20 years ago. But you’re also getting in a younger generation who don’t know his plays but know his film work,” said Mr Flynn.

Stepping away from playwriting, Martin McDonagh’s recent work involves writing and directing the dark humorous films In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and the Oscar-winning short Six Shooter starting Brendan Gleeson.

It’s the love of these films that are bringing in new audiences to the theatre to discover McDonagh’s older work. It’s a move that Mr Flynn says is fantastic and strengthening an industry that was hit hard in the recession.

Speaking on his upcoming visit to Limerick, Mr Flynn recalls fond memories of his time studying at Mary Immaculate College and going to weekly theatre shows at the Belltable and Lime Tree Theatre.

“Every time our company comes to Limerick, it’s something special. The drama society was so nurturing and helpful to me when I was first starting out,” he said.

The Pillowman is playing at the Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College in Limerick at 8PM on November 4 and 5.

Mr Flynn added, “The play is pure McDonagh, dark and twisted and wickedly funny. But it’s also a brilliant thriller that will keep audiences second guessing themselves.”

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