Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

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"The first duty of a storyteller is to tell a story." Katurian is confused. Perhaps it's, "The only duty of a storyteller is to tell a story." Can it be both? Do stories hold more than what they offer? Ever talk to an English major? Ever ask the same question to someone in the math department? The answers will vary. Is it up to the writer to leave messages, reasons, symbols, explanations, statements, philosophies, etc. within his stories? Or is it solely the reader's duty to find the scripture? 

In his play, The Pillowman, Martin McDongah leaves it up to us to decide. Or not to decide. Or rather, forces upon us to see what might lay upon the page. But his character, Katurian warns us - what we read upon the page might always be true. Nor what we see with our eyes.

The story opens with Katurian sitting in an interrogation room with hot tempered Ariel and collected Tupolski. He doesn't know why he's there in the first place - perhaps some read into his short stories, seeing political insults towards the country. He hopes he can clear up any misunderstanding. What he doesn't know is that his dark stories are linked toward the grizzly deaths of two children and one missing girl. And the police are dead certain and Katurian and his brother Michal are behind it all.

Bold, dark and hauntingly beautiful, The Pillowman will grab your attention by the short hairs and lead you down its wicked little path, never allowing you to lose focus on the purpose - what exactly makes a man a monster?

The twists and turns of the story keep you moving forward. I sorta wish I could see a live performance of the play - anyone know where I can find a recording? - especially the version in which Jeff Goldblum portrays Tupolski. 

Until next time, keep on huntin'.


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