Saturday, January 24, 2009

McDonagh Writes Another Fecking Play

Well, this was unexpected. According to a short piece on the New York Times' website, Martin McDonagh has written another play. As he revealed in a 2006 profile, McDonagh wrote the first drafts of all six of his produced plays (and a seventh that he says is terrible and will not allow to be produced) in one six-month period in 1994. He gave every indication of being done with theatre for films, and his first feature, In Bruges, just got an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Still, it seems that the he can't quite get away from theatre just yet. I have some ambivalence about McDonagh as a writer--I sometimes feel like all of his formidable technique is being funneled into a sort of jokey nihilism that doesn't add up to much--but there is no doubt that the man has an amazing way with dialogue and plot construction. Anything new from him is definitely worth checking out.

As for the play itself, all that has been revealed is that it's called A Behanding in Spokane, and takes place in "small-town America." I'd assume from this that it has something to do with someone's hands being chopped off and takes place in Spokane, Washington. How McDonagh will do with an American idiom is another question entirely, but I must say I'm very excited to see what happens. Here's hoping it ends up onstage next season as he promised!


Blanche said...

Another fecking blooody play.....I think I'll but stock in the companies that make stage blood & laundry detergent (cf-"The Lieutenant of Innishmore").

Daniel R said...

There's nothing that nihilism can't add up to!

And yeah, I can't really picture him writing american dialogue that is at all convincing. As long as he keeps it as neutral as possible, the written equivalent of a mid-atlantic blandness, it could convince, but all of the appeal of his writing that I've seen has been in the specific Irishness (or Englishness as is sometimes the case) of his dialogue.

I write this as someone in Ireland who loved In Bruges but hated his oscar winning short "Six Shooter" (Irish short films automatically earn my ire if they feature gunfights.)