Friday, April 30, 2010

Play of the Week: A Skull in Connemara

Like many Martin McDonagh plays, A Skull in Connemara has moments of extreme shock value that treads the fine line between dark humor and out and out inappropriateness. This time the story is about a man who is paid by the church to exhume bodies from the local bone-yard to prevent overcrowding. And for those who are not unfamilliar with McDonagh, you will not be surprised that there is a scene where the main characters get drunk and smash old bones and skulls with an over-sized hammer.

What makes this play better than some of his other plays (besides being a full length piece that only runs about 90 minutes) is the ambiguous ending. The gravedigger, Mick, has a cloudy past. Seven years ago his wife died in a car accident. Mick was drunk and the driver and showed the appropriate remorse, but there were still rumors as to whether or not he killed his wife before they even get in the car. The play never fully answers if Mick is guilty, but the other character's attempts to get any new information from him, even after he is forced to dig up his wife's corpse to make room in the yard, makes this play a very interesting read.

Happy Birthday: Paul Gross (b. 1959)

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