The Cripple of Inishmaan
Scenes from On the Verge's November 19, 2009, production of Martin McDonagh's 1996 play, The Cripple of Inishmaan, directed by Professor Claire Gleitman of the English Department.
From the director's program notes:
The Cripple of Inishmaan takes place in 1934 on the remote island of Inishmaan, one of three Aran Islands that lie off the west coast of Ireland. Inishmaan is a place so dreary, as McDonagh portrays it, that there is little to do apart from staring at cows and, occasionally, pegging them with stones. Life becomes enlivened when word arrives that Robert Flaherty, a Hollywood director, is coming to the nearby island of Inishmore to make a film about its inhabitants. Most excited by the news is Cripple Billy, an earnest young misfit whom the other islanders treat with scorn. Billy's twisted body is a physical expression of his frustration and longing; his gently poetic spirit sets him apart from the other islanders, for whom cruelty is an irrepressible instinct borne out of their unrelieved boredom and longing for sensation of any kind. The arrival of Flaherty's film crew offers Billy his one opportunity for adventure, stardom, and--most precious of all--escape.
Like many Irish plays, The Cripple is about the importance of storytelling in Irish culture. Yet McDonagh is no J. M. Synge, nor does he wish to be. The Cripple is a darkly comic send-up of more reverential representations of rural Ireland--such as The Man of Aran, the film that the historically real Robert Flaherty did indeed make about the Aran Islands--as well as the tradition of Irish drama represented most famously by Synge's Playboy of the Western World.
Kate: Judith Levitt (faculty, Theatre Arts)
Eileen: Kathleen Mulligan (faculty, Theatre Arts)
Johnnypateenmike: Kevin Murphy (faculty, English)
Cripple Billy: Ned Donovan (student, Theatre Arts)
Bartley: Max Lorn-Krause (student, Theatre Arts)
Helen: Celeste Rose (student, Theatre Arts)
Babbybobby: Graham Drake-Maurer (student, Theatre Arts)
Doctor: Michael Twomey (faculty, English)
Mammy: Susannah Berryman (faculty, Theatre Arts)