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The Year in Theater


Jeff Binder and David Wilmot in The Lieutenant of Inishmore.  

1. ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’
Martin McDonagh didn’t just write the bloodiest, most violent play of the year; it was also the most gruesomely funny. All but inventing the genre of the terrorism comedy, he told the story of Mad Padraic, the deranged head of the splinter group of an Irish paramilitary splinter group, and what happens when his beloved cat Wee Thomas winds up dead. A handful of plays distinguished themselves by taxing our brains in 2006, especially The Coast of Utopia and Alan Bennett’s The History Boys. But as the body count rose, it was clear that McDonagh’s play had an unusually incisive focus on one of the intellectual failings of our time. Clinging too stridently to our orthodoxies leads to bloodshed in the end, he argues: hilarious, cat-brain-spattering bloodshed.


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