The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the sixth play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking project that presents the best of British theater live from the London stage on film to cinemas across the UK and around the world.
Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (“The Pillowman”, “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and “In Bruges”) returns to the West End with his deeply funny new play, “Hangmen.” A playwright, screenwriter and film director, McDonagh has been described as one of the most important living Irish playwrights. This award winning production is directed by Matthew Dunster.
In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey) is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging?
Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn) lurk with very different motives for their visit. McDonagh’s first play for more than 10 years is tremendous: a departure from his usual work, and a deepening of his talents. “Hangmen,” fueled by horror and humor, gives new meaning to the “swinging 60s”.
The excellent cast all hint at hidden depths beneath the snazzy, rapid-fire dialogue. Morrissey subtly shows the emotional damage caused by Harry’s frequent acts of savagery, Flynn preens and scoffs with irony, while Nyman displays expert comic timing and sensitively evokes a sort of sweaty desolation. The subject matter is grim, yet “Hangmen” is consistently entertaining and, somehow amid the frantic action, gives you time to think about the big issues; the sanctity of life, the perils of institutionalization, and above all, the devastating effects of the habit of violence.
Anna Fleischle’s extraordinary design moves from starkness to the cluttered fog of a pub with brown wood, frilly glass lampshades, an all-male clientele and women behind the bar. Matthew Dunster’s superb production lights up McDonagh’s writing. “Hangmen” is not an argument but an atmosphere. It absorbs the audience into another culture and re-presents the 60s. “Independent” calls the play “Drop-dead hilarious” and “Sunday Times” says the production is “Gripping, funny and dramatically tense.” (Runtime: 2 hr., 30 min., including an intermission).
Screenings will be on Monday, August 22nd at 1:00 pm and Wednesday, August 24th at 7:00 pm at the Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive in Dartmouth Plaza (behind the Lewes Wawa). Admission for National Theatre Live is $18 for RBFS members and $20 general admission. Online reservations (www.rehobothfilm.com) are encouraged and may be made with MasterCard or VISA.