Micro-Review #110: The Lieutenant of Inishmore

by Martin McDonagh

This play, by the man who gave us The Banshees of Inisherin, has all the subtlety of a steel-toed kick to the groin. “Mad” Padraic is an Irish National Liberation Army psychopath who will kill any man who so much as looks sideways at his beloved cat, Wee Thomas. That’s a problem, because Wee Thomas appears to meet with a fatal accident while in the care of Padraic’s underlings.

Violence ensues—loads of it—along with McDonagh’s unique brand of humor, which relies on distinctive dialogue and characters who some readers are sure to see as reductive or over the top. The story may be a satire on violence and other elements of the culture, but it’s primarily a high-octane piece of entertainment. If you disapproved of Brendan Gleeson’s life choices in Banshees, then maybe stay away. This play makes the movie look pink and furry.

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