Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Penned by Martin McDonagh the story is about the fascination that the Great British Public has with capital punishment.
It's a comedy - and a very funny one at that - with its humour of a decidedly black hue. It starts with someone being hanged (not hung) live on stage and sort of darkens from there.
Most of the action takes place in a pub in Oldham where the second most famous hangman in all of England has found himself a new job, surrounded by sycophantic pub regulars and on the day they abolish hanging his chickens are coming home to roost.
The cast is stellar: Josef Davies, James Dryden, Johnny Flynn, Graeme Hawley, John Hodgkinson, Ralph Ineson, Bronwyn James, David Morrissey, Ryan Pope, Sally Rogers, Simon Rouse and Reece Shearsmith. And there's ain't a dud amongst them.
David Morrissey's lead as the over-wrought ex-hangman is excellent and Reece Shearsmith is in delightful No. 9 territory.
If Joe Orton was alive and well and writing plays this might be his. It's that good.