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of all, let me say: if you miss this play you should never forgive
yourself. It’s won the Olivier award for Best New Play, and I can
say with all honesty that there can have been no competition. Gruesome,
disturbing, hilarious and very, very clever, ‘The Pillowman’ is
a production of the highest calibre on all counts.
plot was cunningly wrought, combining horror with comedy again and
again until the emotionally weary but entirely captivated audience
could no longer distinguish between the two.
story writer, obsessed by tales of unjust killings and child torture,
is taken in by the police for ‘questioning’. We learn that he is
an orphan who cares for his brain-damaged brother; we suspect him
to be a funny, caring and good man. Working as the plot did on the
concepts of shock and twist, it would be unfair to disclose any
details; suffice it to say that we are drawn further and further
into a tale of torture, revenge and hideous comedy.
play encourages the audience’s pre-conceptions of police brutality
and unfair totalitarian role – of the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ –
only to turn back on itself. By the end of the play, your idea of
characters as readable will be entirely challenged. It charmed and
shocked, gently humoured and grotesquely mocked its audiences and
its characters by turn.
not for the faint-hearted; its horror comes simultaneously from
a hideously powerful and overriding sense of dark tension manifesting
itself in reality, and from cunning stagecraft, with a set which
was strangely realistic despite its usually sparse nature. If you
like clever, captivating and grossly amusing plays, then this production
is a must. If you don’t, you should go anyway – you soon will.
Dates: January 27 - February 5
Performances: Eves at 7.30pm, Fri 8pm, Matinees Sat 29 Jan,
Thu 3 & Sat 5 Feb at 2.30pm.
Box Office: 01865 305305
Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Please note: Contains scenes and language that may offend.
Not suitable for children.