by Gemma Anderson
Cats , chaos and killing…the three words that I would use to sum up KDS Act’s production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, performed as part of the International Youth Arts Festival at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. From the extraordinary mind of multi award winning playwright Martin McDonagh, the play is set in 1993 Ireland during a time of political change and follows Mad Padraic as he fights to set his country free. However, his campaign for freedom is cut short when he gets the sad news that his cat, Wee Thomas, is poorly. On his arrival back home to Inishmore, he soon realises that his beloved cat has in fact been beaten to death which results in pandemonium and murder.
KDS Act’s performance began with the characters of Donny and Davey in a freeze frame looking at the dead cat as the audience entered the room. This drew me in and left me intrigued as to what the performance I was about to watch would entail. All of the actors gave a strong performance throughout the piece with some excellent comedic moments which often came as a result of some rather bizarre facial expressions. The cast made a good attempt at the Irish accent but as anyone who has tried to do an Irish accent before will know, it isn’t easy! So inevitably there were a few points where the accents got lost, however, this had little effect on the overall feeling of the piece. There were some excellent moments, but a particular stand out scene would have to be when Mad Padraic receives the news about Wee Thomas whilst torturing a drug dealer. You would never have expected a man so psychotic to be so attached to a cat!
Overall, KDS Act’s production offers up an excellent interpretation of a wonderfully weird play. As one of the first performances during IYAF, it has set a high standard for all the other performances to live up to. Definitely one to watch for a more mature audience – but perhaps not if you are a cat lover!
The Lieutenant of Inishmore will be playing again at the Rose Theatre Studio on:
Saturday 14 July @ 7.30pm
Book tickets here