(Matthew Harrison’s article appeared in Irish Theatre Magazine, 7/11.)

Flying in from the tinselly world of Hollywood movie blockbusters, Cillian Murphy touches down as an avenging angel in the gritty Galway Arts Festival premiere of a new version of Enda Walsh's darkly funny Misterman. In a transformed Black Box Theatre, the powerful forces of Catholic guilt, small-town oppression and dominant Irish mammies work their nasty ways on the vulnerable and weak. Landmark Productions and the Galway Arts Festival’s big budget, big bang is a high-octane dramatic rush.

Thomas Magill (a hirsute Cillian Murphy) is a well-meaning evangelist who has an obsession with sin. Sifting through his memory, he repeatedly relives his searches for the heavenly peace that he might expect to come “dropping slow” in his town of Innisfree. Frustrated by all around him, and on the day of the town’s ‘community dance’, Thomas decides to set off on a proselytizing tour of his neighbours. From the ban an tí to the garage mechanic and even to Roger the dog, “sin is our religion” and yet all could be saved if Thomas works hard enough. Lonely, mocked and often thwarted in his mission, Thomas’ zeal is re-charged when the angelic Edel offers to accompany him in his good works…


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