Review- The Pillowman- Eclectic Theatre



By Jackson Ross 



Eclectic Theatre is on stage this week with its first theatrical debut, The Pillowman. The show the new group has decided to present as its first is a controversial one. Written by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh in 2003, The Pillowman narrates the imprisonment of fictional writer Katurian in a nameless, totalitarian state. He is held prisoner as his writing is not only gruesome but somewhat very similar to several child murders happening in his town.


Arrested and then tortured by two detectives, Ariel (the bad cop) and Tupolsky (the good one), Katurian then learns that his impaired brother Michal is also detained and involved in the murders. Katurian then makes the painful decision to submit himself to the detectives in order to save his stories.


Set in a world where the two brothers learn how to deal with death and violence at a very early stage, The Pillowman is that type of material that entertains (its dark comedy content has, in fact, entertained audiences from all around the world) , shocks, and gives something to think about at the same time.


Eclectic Theatre couldn’t have picked a better venue for its purpose. The bare setting naturally offered by The Fringe Club suited the play beautifully. It was absolutely perfect in its simplicity, and this is the clear example that oftentimes less is more.


Nigel De Sousa gave a flawless representation of Katurian; he portrayed the character with great energy and intensity, which at no stage it was dropped.  His relationship with Michal (Steven Fry) was sincere and heartfelt, and their connection was highly believable. Fry was also the director of the play, and his portray of Michal was strong. I just wished I saw more “autism” in his character.


Joe Rolfe as Ariel was incredibly strong and I honestly thought he was perfectly cast in the role, as his physicality suited his character with intensity and very convincingly.


Chris Deplancke as Tupolsky had some interesting moments in his performance, but because of the upstaging and his softer voice compared to the others made things hard to hear and see.


The Pillowman is an intense, intricated play that deeply connects with the themes of child abuse and power; at the same time though, it offers plenty of comedic relief.  

For those who are up for something strong and highly entertaining this week, this is definitely recommended.


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Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 4.4