Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking Back on Inishmore

Actor Karl Miller just finished a run of Lieutenant of Inishmore and he blogged some of his thoughts on the mysterious penchant some critics have for overanalyzing McDonagh's play.

Here, in the comments of the Isaac Butler's Parabasis blog, Miller, in response to a suggestion that he is working hard to "hate" the work he is doing, says the following :

I spent a lot of time trying to do my actor homework and get in the
mind of Padraic, only to find there wasn't much of a mind or soul to get inside. I think the play is better served by an instinct for bathos. Which is why it puzzles me to read so much faulty psychoanalysis about Inishmore.

I don't mean to condescend to McDonagh because I have a deep
love/weakness for farce and my friends tease me about it all the time. But for that reason, I find his "pacifist rage" to be a total crock (it's the sort of phrase Padraic would utter without irony). Inishmore is a shallow grave for shallow characters and that's perfectly fine as long as you don't try to exhume any meaning or moral.

Besides, farce doesn't need any higher justification -- it's good
enough to sit and watch our crazy excesses tumble out in the dark. It's extra fun to get to enact this excess every night, too. But when people start adding high-minded rationalizations for this, or try to imbue this story with an aura of bravery or courage, I get nauseous.

1 comment:

Thomas Garvey said...

Nice, honest appraisal of the over-rated McDonagh. I couldn't agree more, of course - as I wrote in my review:

"McDonagh's brilliant insight in Lieutenant was that the torture scenes in Tarantino - which always involved ridicule of their victims - could easily be pushed to the level of boulevard farce. Which is precisely what The Lieutenant of Inishmore is; it's a comic contraption worthy of (actually, better than) Feydeau - only murder has replaced sex as the repressed desire of its characters."