The Cripple of Inishmaan
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This paper tells about the play written by Martin McDonagh and impression it arose in my mind. The Cripple of Inishmaan is a very dramatic and sentimental play. It makes one laugh and cry at the same moment. The dark comedy, as it is called, reflects human nature, its unbreakable spirit, lust for life and many other topical themes. It does not matter if one is Irish or belongs to any other nationality. It should be mentioned that the play can be watched by anyone and also anyone can learn instructive lessons while watching it.
As the play started it was easy to relax and enjoy the performance, because all the jokes, and playing, and theatrical scenery helped to plunge deeply into what was happening on the stage. The actors’ performing was amazing, as from the first minutes it was clear that the author wanted to induce the viewer to reflect upon the problem of human life which is full of diversities and surprises. The Cripple of Inishmaan was like the imaginary world of weird and yet touching people of one of the Irish provinces. Despite the specification of the location and the use of Irish flavor, the playwright induces everyone to discover the issues of supranational level.
Billy the Cripple, the main character of the play said that there is no good in laughing at people who are unhappy in their life. That was a very important statement in the whole play. As he was a cripple, no one thought that anything good or nice could happen to him. Speaking about the protagonists and antagonists in The Cripple of Inishmaan, it should be mentioned that the town citizens represented the antagonistic way of thinking. The crippled Billy was the protagonist. The character of Billy was the one who wanted to move farther, to change his life for better, to find out the truth about his parents, to become someone that he was not. For instance, his two aunts, and Helen, and Johnnypateenmike were the representatives of antagonism in the play. These characters were those who did not believe that the cripple would have the good fortune to become a part of the film crew or that the movie he wanted to act in would be successful. An interesting fact is that no one wished Billy to be unhappy, but their nature let them to hinder his actions. That is the main description of opposition betwixt antagonists and protagonists. At first it was not clear why the author used such a way to speak to the viewer, but then it became obvious that some things are learned better through contradictions. The famous playwright Martin McDonagh was good at creating such characters.
In order to decide which actor was the best, one should note that the characters of Billy and Bartley, Helen’s brother were presented to the viewer in the nicest way and I personally liked them the most. Referring to the worst actor I did not pick anyone as all the characters were interesting, full of weird habits, but their odd manner was the thing that attracted the most.
In order to contribute to the understanding of the story that was played on the stage a special set was used. Mostly all the main scenes were played in “the store” which was run by Billy’s aunts Kate and Eileen. There was a counter and some products on the shelves. Everything was designed in the old Irish grocery store style. The place seemed to be very cozy and pleasant for buyers. This store was not just a shop where people bought food, but a place where all the town gossips were told and discussed. It was clear that the citizens loved the aunts’ store not because of its usefulness but because visiting it was the part of their everyday life.
The important truth is that a real dark comedy makes one smile but the viewer has a constant feeling that something strange or terrible may happen the next moment. In order to help that feeling grow and not disappear the play’s sounds were used. It seemed that everything was fine, some funny words were said or action done, but the notes of trouble in the background prompted one to understand that this play is not simple, it makes one think and surmise what the ending of all that can be like.
As for the costumes of the actors, it should be mentioned that all of the characters were looking as if they had just stepped out from Ireland using the time machine. Every shirt and pants, every hat and footwear, every button and patch breathed the old and poor times of Irish islands. It was interesting to watch every act, because one could imagine himself/herself in the small town where all citizens know each other and probably know everything about each other.
Speaking about the lighting that was used during the play, it was good and not interfering. When the actors were on the stage, the brightest light fell on the one who was talking. Also when the cripple Billy was shown on his own, the lighting that was dim and discouraging helped to emphasize all the sadness and tragedy of the moment.
Having analyzed the stage set, play’s sounds, lighting, actors’ costumes and the play in general, one comes to the conclusion that The Cripple of Inishmaan is a play worth watching. If one was looking for something extraordinary and new for himself/herself, he/she was satisfied after watching the play. That was what happened to me. My world turned around after I had visited the theater. One can realize that those “cripples” like Billy live among us; they are the part of our society, and they are usually not understood or not heard. Actually we create them and that is a sad fact.
The play written by Martin McDonagh does influence people’s way of thinking and their understanding of life. It should be played in all the theaters of the world.