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'Inishmaan' Comedy To Be Performed

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November 1, 2005 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will present “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” an Irish comedy set in 1934 about an unloved young man of the island who dreams of becoming a famous movie actor.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 11; 8 p.m. Nov. 12; 2 p.m. Nov. 13; 8 p.m. Nov. 16; 8 p.m. Nov. 17; 8 p.m. Nov. 18; 8 p.m. Nov. 19; and 2 p.m. Nov. 20, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.

Martin McDonagh’s play takes the audience into the households of the people of Inishmaan, a small island off the west coast of Ireland, as they prepare for a “star-studded” arrival. Upon learning that a Hollywood director will be filming a documentary in a neighboring island, Inishmaan outcast “cripple Billy” embarks on his quest to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. As news of his audacity ripples through his rumor-starved community, the play becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically confined that hope is an affront to its order. The play contains adult content and is not recommended for children under 12.

The Irish comedy also has its dark side.

“There is an incredible juxtaposition between cruelty and kindness in this play -- and it is razor sharp,” said Robin Witt, the director. “This play comes from a place of psychological realism. I have told the cast that this play is not about ‘Abbott and Costello go to Ireland.’” To me, these characters are orphans that have been abandoned. The very heart and soul of this play is that it’s a dream play, a hope play, a wish play about a character that dreams and hopes past his abilities. We all root for the underdog.“

Witt, who traveled to the remote island via a ferry this past summer said, “Inishmaan, (Gaelic for “Island of the Mournful Wind”) to this day is spottily inhabited. There are about 200 people on the island. The houses are further apart than the houses on the other islands, so there is a sense of isolation and abandonment.”

Tickets are $20 for the general public; $18 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $10 for students.

For more information or to order single or group tickets, call the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or go to the Theatre and Interpretation Center Web site at http://www.tic.northwestern.edu/tickets.html and click the TicketWeb icon.

Topics: Campus Life