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.
This Student Edition, complete with plot summary and scholarly notes, is edited by Dr. P.J. Mathews of University College Dublin.
Martin McDonagh is a Tony- and Oscar-winning scriptwriter whose first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane. won multiple awards including four Tonys and the Laurence Olivier Award. He has gone on to write many smash-hit shows and films, winning 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, and a Laurence Olivier award for Best New Play for The Pillowman (2004). P.J. Mathews is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, and has written widely on Irish literature and theatre. He is the author of Revival (Field Day, 2003); editor of The Cambridge Companion to John Millington Synge (CUP, 2009); and co-editor (with Declan Kiberd) of Handbook of the Irish Revival (Abbey Theatre Press, 2015). He is Director of Academic Podcasting for UCDscholarcast (www.ucd.ie/scholarcast).
Chronology Plot overview Commentary: - Context - Structure - Themes - Characters Play text Notes Questions for Further Study Further reading