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Lin Tan Joined: 3rd December 2010
Last seen: 28th February 2011

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A Behanding In Spokane

From the moment Carmichael (Colin Moody) lost his hand in an act of cruelty, he knew he wanted it back, spending almost 30 years of his adult life nonsensically searching for his mitt. His latest quest takes him to a gritty hotel room where two desperate opportunists, Toby (Bert Belmonte) and Marilyn (Nicole Del a) claim they have what he's looking for.

 

Set in northwest America, Carmichael is a surly, racist, brute cowboy-like character tormented and angry from his need to avenge. When small-time criminals, Toby and Marilyn's con is exposed, the couple become Carmichael's hostage as imminent death befalls upon them throughout every inch of the production. On the side, the wonderfully infuriating hotel receptionist, Mervyn (Tyler Coppin) doesn't do well to aid the couple's situation; in fact, he is the tactless, imbecilic, shit-stirrer who dangerously crosses the line of fire with an air of nonchalance, making him a marvellous addition to the play.

 

A Behanding In Spokane is Martin McDonagh's impressive return to theatre after 15 years away working on films. The themes are violent, brutal, and squeamish but what is unexpected is the hilarity that consumes from start to finish. Each character is written with a bold exactitude; not one fails to shine yet they all blend to compliment the entirety of this explosive production.

 

True, the racist slurs, gun-pointing and bloody mess that comes in abundant may not be everyone's cup of tea, but McDonagh's wonderfully off-centre script is contemporary in nature yet explores concepts as old as time: vengeance, obsession, savagery, enveloped in that comedic irreverence and grotesque suspense Tarantino-philes would approve of.