Andrew Flynn, director of Decadent Theatre's revival of Martin McDonagh's play A Skull In Connemara, writes for Culture about the enduring appeal of the Oscar-winning writer and filmmaker's theatrical creations.
Martin McDonagh, exploded on the theatre scene in 1996. Over twenty years later, his work remains fresh and continues to be very popular with theatre going audiences.
As a director, Martin's work is hugely satisfying to work on. His plays all have a unique language and rhythm, and once the actors find this rhythm his language is like a well-written piece of music. The rehearsal process is about finding that rhythm, sourcing the necessary energy to breath life into the words.
His plays are filled with the blackest of humour; audiences will laugh, and laugh a lot, but they also squirm, gasp and are silenced.
Martin's characters are another joy to work with, a great strength to his work. The characters all feel real, audiences will recognise them and yet despite this real, naturalistic quality they also demand a heightened cartoonish dimension. Finding this balance is a huge challenge in a collaborative process, and one that actors and directors relish.
His work is brilliantly plotted, his plays full of twists and turns that you cannot foresee. He blends black comedy with tragedy, and this brings an audience on a journey that has moments of hilarity alongside moments of danger or sadness. His work also has an immersive affect on audiences, who will be vocal throughout the experience. Once a play opens, I really enjoy watching how Martin's work brings an audience in...
His plays are filled with the blackest of humour; audiences will laugh, and laugh a lot, but they also squirm, gasp and are silenced. Martin McDonagh brings audiences on a journey, and his popularity and success are due to his brilliant writing.
For the audience, attending a McDonagh play is an experience. You will find yourself laughing at things you know you shouldn't, but can't help laughing at.
A Skull In Connemara runs at the Olympia, Dublin, from August 14-September 1st - details here.