In 1934, the people of Inishmaan learn that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighbouring island to film his documentary Man of Aran. No one is more excited than Billy, an unloved and crippled boy whose chief occupation has been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him.
For Billy is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. As news of his audacity ripples through his rumour-starved community, The Cripple of Inishmaan becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped and mean-spirited that hope is an affront to its order.
With this bleak yet uproariously funny play, Martin McDonagh fulfilled the promise of his award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane while confirming his place in a tradition that extends from Synge to O'Casey and Brendan Behan.
Martin McDonagh is a Tony- and Oscar-winning scriptwriter whose first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane. was the 1996 winner of the George Devine Award; the Writer's Guild Award for Best Fringe Play; the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer; four Tonys; and the Laurence Olivier Award. Since then McDonagh has gone on to write multiple smash-hit shows and films, and to win multiple awards including an Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter (2005), an Oscar nomination, a British Independent Film Award for best screenplay, an Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild Award for Best Film Script, and a BAFTA for best original screenplay, all for In Bruges (starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, 2008), and a Laurence Olivier award for Best New Play for The Pillowman (won 2004).