Pillowman to Recoup Its Investment by End of Run

News   Pillowman to Recoup Its Investment by End of Run
The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh's hit London play, which won a bushelful of good reviews on Broadway, will recoup its $2.2 million investment by the end of its run, Variety reported.
From Left: Michael Stuhlbarg and Billy Crudup in The Pillowman
From Left: Michael Stuhlbarg and Billy Crudup in The Pillowman Photo by Joan Marcus

The show is set to close on Sept. 18. It will have played 23 previews and 208 performances. The run will end with the conclusion of the current company's contracts.

The show, which peppers its portrait of a bleak totalitarian society with the grimmest of Grimm-like fairy tales, opened at the Booth Theatre on April 10, after previews from March 21.

It stars Billy Crudup, Jeff Goldblum, Zeljko Ivanek and Michael Stuhlbarg in its leading roles.

The Pillowman marked a stylistic change of pace for McDonagh, known for gritty, often violent, but largely naturalistic localized dramas like The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West. Set in an unnamed, vaguely Eastern European totalitarian state, The Pillowman first strikes Pinteresque and then expressionistic and Grand Guignol notes.

The action opens on a spare interrogation room, where writer Katurian Katurian (he has the same first and last name, like Humbert Humbert in Nabakov's Lolita) is sitting blindfolded. Soon, Katurian (Crudup) is being interrogated by two corrupt and comically cruel detectives, Tupolski (Goldblum) and Ariel (Ivanek), about a series of child murders which resemble episodes in the author's numerous, unpublished, and disturbing fairy tale-like short stories. Also under arrest is Katurian's half-witted brother Michel (Stuhlbarg), who grew up on his sibling's stories and, it emerges, indirectly inspired them. The script is replete with macabre tales, some described by the cops, some told by Katurian to his brother, some related directly to the audience and enacted by a supporting cast that includes Ted Koch, Virginia Louise Smith, Jesse Shane Bronstein and Madeleine Martin.

John Crowley directs the play. Bob Boyett, Robert Fox, The Shubert Organization and The National Theatre produce. Pillowman is the third National show to be brought over by Boyett, after the recent Jumpers and Michael Frayn's Democracy.

The design team for The Pillowman comprises Scott Pask (scenic and costume design), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design) and Paul Arditti (sound design). The play features music by Paddy Cunneen.

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