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The Pillowman, RNCM theatre, 19-23 May

Liberty, its value, and the threat to freedom in a challenging new play with light moments too

Published on May 12th 2010.


The Pillowman, RNCM theatre, 19-23 May

Written by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, (also the writer and director of the critically acclaimed film 'In Bruges.'), this is a dark comedy about Katurian, a writer, and his brother Michal who are living in a totalitarian state.

Detective Tupolski is a weapon of the state which is out to demolish a freethinking society and those with opposing views; the opposite of Katurian, who creates and challenges authorities that set restrictions on artistic integrity.

They are arrested by two detectives, Ariel and Tupolski, and interrogated about some recent, gruesome, child murders and their similarities to short fictional stories written by Katurian.

One of the themes explored in The Pillowman is the use of allegory through dramatised and violent story telling. Detective Tupolski is a weapon of the state which is out to demolish a freethinking society and those with opposing views; the opposite of Katurian, who creates and challenges authorities that set restrictions on artistic integrity.

The play includes both narrations and re-enactments of several of Katurian's stories, most notably the autobiographical "The Writer and the Writer's Brother," which tells how Katurian developed his disturbed imagination by hearing the sounds of his brother Michal being tortured by their parents.

Trevor MacFarlane, the director of the play and of Shred Productions, a Central Manchester based theatre company. “The play tries to make you re-evaluate your own freedoms. I have been unpatriotic in my outlook, but this work shows how incredibly lucky I am as a director to be able to express my work so openly. Its made me realise just how much I have taken liberty for granted. Although at times, this play is Grimmer than Grimm, it’s a dark comedy as well, to be enjoyed…in all seriousness, of course.”

The four actors who form White Circle Productions in association with Shred, are Daniel Street Brown, Nina Gilhooly Keith Reid, and David Lemberg. They originally met and performed together at David Johnson drama based in Manchester.

Their backgrounds include a variety of work for film, television and theatre. The Pillowman is their first show together. David Lemberg has recently help set up a private theatre and rehearsal studio by Piccadilly Gardens where the group have been actively rehearsing and where the set for the Pillowman has been constructed for eventual transfer to the RNCM studio. Ticket information - www.thewhitecircle.co.uk RNCM Box Office, Oxford Road: 0161 907 5555

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Poshbird121May 21st 2010.

I heard so many fantastic reports about this play -- I can not wait to see it !!!! Will be there tonight and I will be writing a review !

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