I admit, the sole reason I booked to see ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ was Daniel Radcliffe. Needless to say, I was a huge fan of him in Harry Potter and was intrigued to see him break out of the wizarding mould.
Part of Michael Grandage’s season of plays, ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’, written by Martin McDonagh, portrays the life of ‘Cripple Billy’ as he breaks free from Inishmaan island to bid for a chance to star in a film. The revolving set was simple but effective in allowing ease of switching between scenes involving Billy’s adventure and others back on Inishmaan.
The plot is full of twists and turns and if you’re not quite concentrating it is easy to become confused. As soon as you think you can predict what’s going to happen everything pivots once again. Only when we hit the bows and can view the play as a whole do you truly comprehend the intricacies of the plot. However, at times, particularly during some of the scenes between Billy’s two aunts (played by Ingrid Craigie and Gillian Hanna), the dialogue became marginally tedious.
Dark humour features heavily throughout, I personally didn’t find it ‘laugh out loud’, but others did. Is there anything more annoying than over-egged ‘look at me, I get the joke, aren’t I clever’ manic laughter from fellow audience members?
The young cast stole the show. I enjoyed Sarah Greene and Conor MacNeill’s respective portrayals of Helen and Bartley McCormick; they interacted well with Daniel Radcliffe who gave an extremely convincing physical performance as Billy. The concentration required to continuously sustain such physical ailments must be enormous. It was perhaps a blessing that Billy was so physically different from the Harry Potter etched into the minds of so many, allowing the audience to see past the Daniel Radcliffe in their minds and really let his superb acting shine through.
Not my favourite night at the theatre, not the best play in the world; but it was definitely worth it to confirm for myself that Daniel Radcliffe is certainly not a one trick pony.