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The Cripple of Inishmaan review from 1997

Set in Ireland, the story centres on a cripple boy called Billy, played by Ruaidhri Conroy. He is ridiculed by the locals because of his disability and not treated like a normal person. His parents died when he was a baby and two local sisters brought him up, whom he now calls his aunts. They care very deeply for him, but this is not enough , he still feels unloved and an emptiness. He craves to find out the truth of how his parents died. When he learns that a Hollywood film is to be made in his local town he goes to see the filmmakers in a hope of getting a job as an actor . He is invited to America for a screen test, which leads to various consequences back home.

This is a play that has you laughing one minute and feeling sad the next. McDonagh's writing is of the highest quality which kept me gripped from start to finish with twist after twist and emotional torture.

The acting is phenomenal by ALL the cast , particularly by Conroy who plays the crippled boy. This is his stage debut, but he pulled it off sensationally, he made his character very believable and convincing.

This is certainly one of the those productions were everything fits perfectly with a great script and great acting. This is theatre at its best and is not to be missed.

(Darren Dalglish)

Originally published on

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