Breaking News
Thursday, May 7, 2009

Info Post
It takes some guts to stage a real black comedy in the nation raised on Hollywood and Broadway. And it takes 12 gallons of blood (made of corn syrup, food coloring and laundry detergent) to stage The Lieutenant of Inishmore by wildly talented Martin McDonagh at The Berkeley Rep. It also takes Les Waters’ direction and a harmonious cast of highly skilled professional actors to make this surreal bloody cocktail of a story an uproariously funny show, one of the few that make strong long-lasting impression even in the most successful theatre. Now, I have a bone to pick with that guy who stood up and left before the play was over. Sorry to burst your bubble, sweetie, but Little Mermaid didn’t marry a prince. In the original, she died from suffering, punished for her leap out of her element. It takes some maturity to finally get it that happy endings are as rare in great literature as they are in real life, but once you acquire a taste for great literature, there is no turning back… As always, the mightily acclaimed and multiple award-winning author derives his inspiration from the history of his native Ireland, its many pains and troubles, and its resilient national spirit, entangled in unfairness that breeds unfairness and violence that begets violence. It takes a lot of moral stamina to transform the still unfolding controversial and painful historical process into a comic plot, and to offer an unblinking look into the bottomless well of suffering through the lens of humor and humanity. From the beginning of the play, we are thrown right in the middle of a murder and suspense story – so what that the victim is a black cat, ran over on a rural highway. Another classic element of a murder mystery - concealing the body – kicks right in when it becomes obvious that the feline death will be ruthlessly retaliated by a human monster, an IRA lieutenant Padraic (Blake Ellis) who happened to care for the victim. Padraic is not only partial to his kitty; he is capable of loving a woman, a party comrade Mairead (Molly Camp) who also happened to care for her own feline and more than ready to retaliate if anyone dares to touch it – anyone at all. A fascinating plot unfolds with gunshots blasting, blood gushing, and frozen in rigor mortis bodies being dismembered for further concealing. But, giving away any more of it would be spoiling an unparalleled pleasure of viewing the show at Roda Theatre. And yeah, it’s about time a famous playwright speaks on behalf of statistically most abused animals… (I seriously consider offering a ticket to the play to my prospective cat sitter). The Lieutenant of Inishmore runs through May 24 at 2015 Addison St., Berkeley. For tickets call 510-647-2949 or visit Photo: (clockwise from top) At Berkeley Rep, Danny Wolohan, Michael Barrett Austin, Blake Ellis and Rowan Brooks star in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, another bloody comedy from Obie Award-winning director Les Waters and Oscar-winning writer Martin McDonagh. Photo courtesy of


Post a Comment