- DONNY – Michael Gallagher
- DAVEY – Charlie Gallagher
- PADRAIC – Adam Gonet [3, 5 & 7th March] & Anthony Morris [2, 4 & 6th March]
- MAIREAD – Megan Johnstone
- JAMES – Adam Gonet [2, 4 & 6th] & Anthony Morris [3, 5 & 7th]
- CHRISTY – Charlie Tomlinson
- BRENDAN – Adam Gonet [2, 4 & 6th] & Anthony Morris [3, 5 & 7th]
- JOEY – Leif Black
- LIGHTING & SOUND – Mike North, Pete Jones, Natasha Klein,?Christine Mills
- COSTUME DESIGN – Garrick Wardrobe
- PROPERTIES / FURNITURE – John Newton and Jo Myers
- COMPANY STAGE MANAGER – Dan Ferguson
- ASSISSTANT STAGE – Anne O’Reilly, Jo Myers
PLEASE NOTE: This production contains frequent strong language, adult humour and does include the use of very loud and sudden noises, including gunshots
Review by Remotegoat by Julia Taylor
Horror and Humour combine well
The Lieutenant of Inishmore is gut wrenching in two senses of the word. Set amid the troubles in Northern Ireland, it features blood and gore yet is also gut wrenchingly funny, it’s a strange combination but if you can stomach torture and bloodied dead bodies, not to mention one being chopped up, the humour takes you by surprise and makes a nice contrast. The writer, Martin McDonagh, is a skilled playwright who has won many awards. He hasn’t introduced violence for violence’s sake but is quietly outlining a moral. It is that whatever section of the community violence comes from, it is never going to win any battles for the perpetrators. In this black comedy, the main perpetrator is INLA member Padraic who breaks off from torturing a Belfast drug pusher and rushes home to comfort his sick cat. This an indication of the humour to come although the violence erupts again when he discovers his ‘wee Thomas’ has died a sadistic death. The cat reveals a soft centre in this gangster. Alternating on different nights with Adam Gonet, I see Anthony Morris play the psychopathic Padraic in a way that makes you wonder what makes him tick. He is aided and abetted by his mol, the tough yet vulnerable Mairead played by Megan Johnstone. Still only 16 and handy with a gun, she longs to form her own terrorist splinter group. They have in common a morbid love of both violence and cats! The funniest characters are Padraic’s father, Donny (Michael Gallagher) and Charlie Gallagher’s Davey, Mairead’s brother. They feel responsible for the death of wee Thomas which embroils them in some terrifying tangles. I especially love Charlie’s Davey. He never fails to come up with an innocently amusing remark even when shaking with terror. In a fine piece of acting, his every mood is reflected in his face as well as his voice. The accents seem OK to me although the Irish friend who accompanies me is less convinced. Nevertheless, a great deal of skill goes into what appears simple particularly in the deadly scenes after the interval performed with perfect timing. You’ll be surprised and perhaps a little guilty to discover you enjoy this play but enjoy it you will not least because it is directed by the Garrick’s Executive Producer, Paul Kerryson. Star Rating ★★★★★
Adam Gonet (Padraic) and Megan Johnstone (Mairead). Photo by Vishal Sharma
Just when I thought risk taking was a thing of the past in commercially driven live theatre, Altrincham Garrick takes the brave decision to stage The Lieutenant of Inishmore. From a cat loving terrorist to a trigger happy teenage girl, all of human life is here in Martin McDonagh’s classy black comedy. Adam Gonet expertly plays Padraic, a role he’s sharing with Anthony Morris. He may be ruthless when it comes to dealing with his enemies but he’s a big softie when it comes to his beloved pet cat. Adam is highly convincing when it comes to conveying both sides of this crazy character and for me, this is his best Garrick performance to date. Imagine his anger when Padraic discovers his moggy has come to harm and poor Davey (Charlie Gallagher) who looks like he’s just stepped out of an Irish version of Wayne’s World, ends up taking the blame. While the script contains strong language it is also extremely clever and laugh out loud funny in places and McDonagh frequently demonstrates a wonderful turn of phrase, even if the second act is far better than the first. Megan Johnstone is also very good value as the gun toting Miread, inextricably drawn to small town bad boy Padraic. She also has a lovely singing voice. Director Paul Kerryson obviously has a deep seated affection for this play and it shows in this highly watchable production. The Lieutenant of Inishmore might not be everyone’s pint of Guinness, but this Irish masterpiece certainly makes for a very different night of theatre, rounded off with a brilliant twist that you definitely won’t see coming. Enjoy. Star Rating ★★★★
NODA Review by Kevin Procter
Should you have stopped by The Altrincham Garrick for this production, you may have appreciated a warning that a stronger stomach than usual may be required; The Lieutenant of Inishmore is Martin McDonagh’s black (and blood-spattered) comedy directed by the recently appointed Chief Exec of the AG, Paul Kerryson. Paul certainly makes a stamp and shakes up the usual drama followers of the Garrick with his ‘official’ debut as director with the theatre, this show will have most definitely left an impression like a dollop of marmite; you’ll either love this raw and gory contemporary drama/comedy or you may be one who’s hoping for the return of the traditional slapstick, sexist farce. This title is not one which is particularly popular for am dram societies than it is with universities and fringe theatre groups (which I think is what makes it all the more appealing for the AG) – it’s a modern creation which challenges and pushes boundaries, such a decision to venture into new ground is surely going to displease some folk but my view is it’s never a bad thing to experiment and wake things up a bit, and ultimately, to ensure you present as wider variety of styles and genres as possible. As with the previous AG production (Oliver!), the casting committee have obviously struggled to come to a decision with who to choose for a role (though obviously not as extreme as previously) as the part of Padraic is shared by two actors and the one who is not ‘on’ as Padraic will take smaller roles in that particular performance, such a ruling seems slightly ludicrous for a production running for just one week and can only, surely, present more of a nuisance to the process than contributing something which works as an advantage to the production, but perhaps I’m missing something! On the performance I attended, Anthony Morris took the role of Padraic who delivered a tame psycho, I felt there was room to explore the maniac qualities of this individual to present the intimidating terrorist he is. The abattoir inspired set was an original approach to the shows design, steering away from the obvious description of the location given by the cast. Some of the Irish accents dropped somewhat which made the quick paced dialogue hard to catch but this is an incredibly tricky accent to replicate, an accent which is in fact renowned for being one of the most difficult to master which I do appreciate. Most impressive was Charlie Gallagher as Davey; the younger, dim brother who creates the chaos! A truly hilarious and alluring performance delivering the most natural and riveting of the bunch, a new face to the Garrick who is undoubtedly one to watch! Come the interval, I wasn’t sure if this play was for me (on a personal level) but it wasn’t until act two when the piece really shows its true colours, yes, it gets more gruesome but equally more comical. The balance of the script veers from violence to the ridiculous in an instant which, arguably, softens its vicious premise, however, we howl with laughter as members of the cast are brutally tortured then murdered and kittys are shot and slaughtered before our very eyes. One trait which is sure to make any creative team nervous is when a play requires a living cat to appear on stage, I could not help but find this rather impressive but also, given what we’d already witnessed, felt anxious for the cat’s fate! High drama and explorations of the human condition are not to be found here, credit to the AG team for being bold and bringing a play as dark and guiltily entertaining as this to the local stage, showing they’re not afraid of putting on something to cater for every taste.
Sardines Review by Michael Cove
Set in 1993, against a backdrop of the Irish troubles, Martin McDonagh’s masterful Olivier Award winning black comedy is brought boldly to life in the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse’s impressive new staging. Helmed by former Leicester Curve Artistic Director Paul Kerryson, the direction may on the odd occasion lack a necessary spark of imagination, with Barry Fletcher’s set design feeling a little too clinical to effectively represent the warm rural cottage in which the majority of the action takes place, however it is the performances from the 7-strong non-Irish cast which really elevate this production. I have been reviewing both professional and amateur theatre for over 35 years now, and not often do you see a performance as complete and dynamic in such a young actor as Adam Gonet’s Padraic. His performance as the eponymous madman is nothing short of outstanding. His journey through the various character traits from amiable to explosive – is conveyed with expert skill, charisma and intelligence rarely seen these days. I cannot imagine he will be hanging around too long on the amateur stage. As the air-rifle toting tomboy, Mairead (the lading lady, if you can call Mairead that!), Megan Johnstone is equally as impressive, again demonstrating a commanding presence, expert characterisation and a sparkling, passionate chemistry with Gonet’s Padraic. As the audience surrogate’s Davey and Donny, the real-life father and son pairing of Charlie and Michael Gallagher are perfectly suited to their respective roles, two relatable everyman characters caught up in the most surreal and nightmarish of situations. Charlie Tomlinson’s one-eyed Christy cuts an unnerving presence as the head of IRA splinter group the INLA with fine support from Anthony Morris sarcastic Brendan and Leif Black’s naive Joey. Tomlinson really comes in to his own during the big scene 8 set piece and the hilarious country lane sequence. The latter seeing the three INLA boys discussing a whole host of surreal subjects and literary quotes over a couple of tin of Heinz beans.Mike North’s pulsing sound design and atmospheric lighting perfectly enhance the various undertones of the piece.
The auditorium at last night?s (Tuesday night) performance was just over half full, which is criminal in a production as accomplished as this proves. I urge anyone with an interest in theatre to book tickets immediately
Martin McDonagh’s hilarious, brutal and deadly multi-award winning black comedy opens at the Altrincham Garrick playhouse on Monday 2nd March, running until Saturday 7th March. It is directed by award winning director Paul Kerryson. Paul Kerryson says: “During my recent time at Curve theatre in Leicester, a highlight was directing local talent in exciting plays and musicals, so I am especially thrilled to be working with such a young, talented cast in this community production of one of my favourite plays. Wee Thomas was a friendly cat. Who knocked him over on a lonely road on the island of Inishmore, and was it an accident? His owner, the handsome and very mad Padraig, will want to know when he gets back from a stint of torture and mayhem in the North. Padraig loved Wee Thomas more than life itself! Combining razor sharp, outrageously funny dialogue with a dash of violence, this is a wild night at the theatre not to be missed! The Lieutenant of Inishmore was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2001 where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. The sell out Broadway run also received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Play.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore workshops and pre and post show discussions with the director and the cast are available on request.
Please Note: The production contains violence, adult humour and frequent strong language.
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