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  • Joel Brown
    writes for the Boston Globe and many others.

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« Is that a grasshopper on the Stata Center? | Main | Spinning »

October 15, 2006



Hi Joel,

Terry Byrne at the Herald seems to echo your question: "What's the Point?"

Will Stackman also has some questions about the ultimate sum of the parts.

Beverly Creasey at Theatermirror thought that all the suffering is a little much for the payoff.

Local Playwright Ronan Noone was extremeley upset that critics were asking these questions. He sent a letter to Larry Stark's Theatermirror about it. He claims that it is the critics are missing the point.

As for me. I haven't seen the production. But I have read it, and I can't help you out.

Will Stackman

You're not the only local critic obviously who found MaDonaugh script questionable. I'm convinced the problem begins with the fact that all the plays of his we've seen so far (and possibly his recent film) were written in one year when he was barely 20 and living on the dole. He'd never been produced and had more literary contact with drama than theatre experience--or so I'm told. Apparently he's done little if any rewriting as his career advanced. Directors in Great Britain have shaped productions from his wordage according to a current style which celebrates viciousness probably starting with Edw. Bond. "The Pillowman" is thus a somewhat juvenile attempt to use this form, probably taking off from Kafka.
It's interesting that you left at the break. That was a common reaction in England during the show's first run, not because oeiole didn't want any more, but because they thought the drama was complete and no more was to be said. As for critical acceptance of such a play, they've probably read too much Artaud, but never go to see Theatre of Cruelty attempted. The real question is "Does it need to be?"


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