FROM the writer of the hit films In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, Decadent Theatre presents Martin McDonagh's hilarious dark comedy A Skull in Connemara from 11 - 16 March at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.
Nominated for an Olivier award for Best Comedy in 1997, A Skull in Connemara, is part of the celebrated Leenane Trilogy which includes The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Lonesome West.
The Lyric Theatre produced the other two plays to great acclaim in the past and is therefore delighted to receive Decadent Theatre’s production of A Skull in Connemara to complete the trilogy. A Skull in Connemara tells the irreverent story of Mick Dowd, played by Garrett Keogh (Angela's Ashes; Dockers), who for one week each autumn is hired to disinter the bones in certain sections of his local cemetery, making way for new arrivals. It is a job that is deeply frowned upon in rural Connemara where the locals gossip about Dowd’s own late wife who died in a car crash seven years ago.
The drama is set on the night that Dowd has to dig up his wife’s bones and evolves into a ‘whodunnit’ as he discovers her remains have mysteriously vanished and so mayhem erupts.
The cast is led by two Irish theatre heavyweights, Garrett Keogh – an Abbey Theatre stalwart – and Maria McDermottroe (Dancing at Lughnasa; Veronica Guerin) who plays the local gossip. They are joined by Limerick actor Patrick Ryan (Northanger Abbey) and raw new talent 23-year-old Jarleth Tivnan who provides a lot of the laughs.
Director Andrew Flynn, who directed the Lyric’s current production of Philadelphia, Here I Come! has a personal debt to Martin McDonagh.
“I had just started in theatre in Galway when Martin started out as a writer – he introduced me to my wife,” said Andrew. “Since then Martin has become a multi-millionaire with a huge reputation. He was the most produced writer in America some years ago and at one stage had four plays running (in Broadway) at the same time.
“Martin started out as a playwright and has become a very successful film-maker – he is regarded by many as the Quentin Tarantino – ‘the bad boy’ of Irish Theatre.”
Andrew said audiences who enjoyed the other plays in the trilogy as well as fans of his films will want to see A Skull in Connemara.
“It is an extremely funny, wickedly told, politically incorrect play with lots of twists and turns,” Andrew said. “It is the sort of dark humour that you find yourself laughing out loud when you think perhaps you shouldn’t. Martin has created extreme characters in this play, and although they seem far-fetched, you could imagine them existing and not just in Connemara!”
A Skull in Connemara runs on the Danske Bank Stage at the Lyric Theatre from Tues 11 to Sun 16 March 2014; 7.45pm daily and 2.30pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets from £18 - £22.