HANGMEN Reviewed


Directed by Matthew Dunster
Written by Martin McDonagh
Cast includes. :Josef Davies, James Dryden, Johnny Flynn, Graeme Hawley, John Hodgkinson, Ralph Ineson, Bronwyn James, David Morrissey, Ryan Pope, Sally Rogers, Simon Rouse and Reece Shearsmith.

Broadcast from the Royal Court Theater

This is a bit different from my usual review. An organization called the National Theater Live (http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ ) is broadcasting plays from the UK into theaters throughout the world, Theater lovers who might never see these plays are now able to enjoy them in much the same way as the audience in the theater. So far the broadcasts have brought us SKYLIGHT, HAMLET, AS YOU LIKE IT, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, A CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTIME, and several other West End shows. If you visit their website, you can determine if there is a theater near you taking advantage of this opportunity. This idea began with operas and has now branched out into plays. In my neighborhood, an art house and several regular theaters show the plays on a Thursday night and on the following Sunday morning.

HANGMEN was the third play we have seen through this program. (The other two were HAMLET and AS YOU LIKE IT). Two years after the last hanging in the UK, a man who carried out more than 200 of these hangings is visited by a stranger. David Morrissey plays the hangman who now runs a pub. This menacing (his words) fellow stops by and flirts with the hangman’s fifteen year old daughter. When she disappears, the worry is that the hangman’s final hanging may have been the wrong man. There is humor in the play but of a very dark sort. This is a prize- winning production and very well done.

Although this particular play may not come your way, check out the website for plays that might. The price of the three-hour production was $15.00. Well worth it when you consider the price of a play in New York. Highly recommended.