The trouble with Martin by lindahy


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									                                                                                           West Australian
                                                                                           Page: 12
                                                                                           By: Ron Banks
                                                                                           Region: Perth
                                                                                           Circulation: 192964
                                                                                           Type: Capital City Daily
                                                                                           Size: 437.41 sq.cms
                                                                                           Frequency: MTWTFS-

              The trouble with Martin
              RON BANKS
                                                                                         McDonagh both wrote and directed.         extremes.
                                                                                            The Lieutenant of Inishmore will          "While the violence is extreme, so
             Irish playwright Martin                                                     be guest directed by David Myles,         is the comedy and the situations the
             McDonagh's study of extremism                                               who says its violence must be seen in     people of Inishmore find themselves
             during the Troubles of his native                                           the context of the times.                 in."
             country was considered so violent                                              "There is nothing at all gratuitous       Myles is a seasoned director with
             and offensive that for several years                                        in the violence, although I suppose       25 years experience in British
             producers shied away from it.                                               some might see it that way," he says.     theatre, beginning in the mid-60s
                It took McDonagh seven years -                                           "It deals very graphically with the       when he arrived from Australia
             and a change in perspective on the                                          violence that has been part of Irish      seeking work as a stagehand after a
              Troubles - for The Lieutenant of                                           life for such a long time, but            stint in the fledgling television
             Inishmore to reach the commercial                                           McDonagh has such an amazing wit          industry.
             stage in London.                                                            that you will be laughing at his             He worked his way up from
                Written in 1994, before the peace                                        cleverness one moment and then            stagehand to assistant stage manager
             process was fully under way between                                         appalled at all the blood being spilt     and eventually freelance director,
             the political parties, the play was                                         the next."                                working for seven years at the
             finally premiered by the Royal                                                 The playwright's focus, says           National Theatre at the Old Vic
             Shakespeare Company in 2001.                                                Myles, is on the politics of              under its artistic director Sir
                It won an Olivier award for its                                          extremism that developed in the           Laurence Olivier.
             black comedy style, while outraging                                         breakaway faction from the Irish             Working on many acclaimed
             many people with its                                                        Republican Army known as the              international productions, he
             stomach-churning gore. When it was                                          INLA, which stood for the Irish           collaborated with directors such as
             performed in New York, critic Ben                                           National Liberation Army.                 Peter Brook, Ingmar Bergman,
             Brantley from the New York Times                                               "The INLA considered                   Tyrone Guthrie, Jonathan Miller and
             described the play's carnage as being                                       themselves purer than the IRA, but        John Schlesinger.
             raised "to a level that rivals Quentin                                      in reality were far more extremist in       At one point in his career he
             Tarantino".                                                                 their approach," says Myles.              worked with the Beatles on the stage
                None of this has deterred the WA                                            The lieutenant of the title, who       adaptation of John Lennon's book In
             Academy of Performing Arts from                                             comes from the island of Inishmore,       His Own Write.
             programming the play for its final                                          is the group's most extreme member          Since returning to Australia in
             year students, who will tackle its                                          - someone so addicted to violent          1990, Myles has worked as a
             curious blend of the "gleeful and                                           measures that his own comrades are        freelance theatre director in opera,
             gruesome" at the Roundhouse                                                 instructed to eliminate him.              music theatre, drama and television
             Theatre on the Mt Lawley campus.                                               To succeed in this aim, however,       on shows such as Neighbours and
                McDonagh is one of Ireland's                                             they have to invade the island and        Home and Away.
             leading young playwrights,                                                  kill the lieutenant's favourite cat Wee
             best-known for works such as The                                            Thomas to flush him out.                  The Lieutenant of Inishmore is at the
             Beauty Queen of Leenane. Younger                                               "It's the one thing he loves, which    Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, from
             audiences may be familiar with the                                          gives you some indication of the          June 12-18. Bookings on 9370 6636.
             recent film In Bruges, which                                                extremism involved," says Myles.
                                                                                         "It's a very confronting play about

             Gut-churning: David Myles with student actors Aaron rondos (upside down) and Sean Hawldns.    Picture Robet ouncan

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                                                                                                                         Ref: 52403264

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