(Ben Lawrence’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 12/9.)
Martin McDonagh was one of the most exciting young playwrights of the Nineties, with works such as The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan showing a gift for dark, visceral humour and an unwavering understanding of human frailty. Then, Hollywood snared him (In Bruges; Seven Psychopaths) and his output ever since has been spotty. That’s a shame. This savage, hilarious, incredibly sad work – now transferred from the Royal Court to the West End – is the best new play of the year.