Review: The PillowMan

The Pillowman-Underground Productions. Image Supplied.
The Pillowman-Underground Productions. Image Supplied.

Underground Productions adaptation of Martin McDonagh’s two time Tony award winning production of The PillowMan was a raging success.

Shown at Brisbane’s Schonell Theatre, (University of Queensland), this black comedy had the audience intrigued and captivated from the very beginning, right throughout the show.

Helmed by the young and multi-talented first time director, writer, and designer Jessica Palfrey, The Pillowman, set in a nameless totalitarian state, opens in the darkness of a police interrogation room, and follows the tale of a psychologically deranged writer Katurian, who is faced with a number of questions concerning a series of horrific child murders that mirror the twisted tales within his own writings.

Despite Palfrey’s youth, she displayed the maturity of an experienced director by introducing many directives of theatre with the use of puppetry, sound, and doll-like movement throughout the production with the intent to appeal the child within. In addition, Palfrey used a minimalist set design to convey the isolation and confinement of a totalitarian society. This representation of McDonagh’s script is not unlike that of Orwell’s 1984.

Katurian (Kell Anderson) is a desperate, abused scarecrow, prisoner, who is not only threatened by the dominating police (William Pike and Alexandra Hines) but is haunted by his past. Anderson does an excellent job here, however the standout performance comes from Pike the police interrogator. Each and every character have their own personal story that alludes to and impacts on the confinement of the protagonist, Katurian.

The Pillowman is an astonishingly brilliant piece of writing by Martin McDonagh, which Palfrey, along with the cast and crew have created a marvelous piece of theatre.

For more information see the Underground Productions Website.

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