The Pillowman Opens This Weekend!
The Pillowman opens this Friday at the Exit Theatre in San Francisco under the beautiful direction of Ariel Craft of The Breadbox Theatre Company. This 2004 Olivier and Tony Award winning play by Martin McDonagh presents some thoughtful and disturbing themes through its use of spellbinding storytelling reminiscent of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Both horrific and fantastical in nature, it is a pensive study of the inner struggle between a man, his ethics, and his art, and how cruelty can come to life in inscrutable ways.
The play tells of Katurian, a young man and writer in a police state being interrogated regarding a series of terrible murders in his town. These murders are disquieting not only because of their despicable nature, but because they involve children, which is one of many human-challenging elements in the production. The killings - carried out in ways which obviously resemble parts of Katurian’s harrowing stories - purvey an underlying leitmotif of absurdity which is central to the intrigue of the plot. Katurian’s older, simple-minded brother Michal is interrogated separately in the room next door; detectives Ariel and Tupolski (not without thought-provoking stories of their own) go between the two suspects in tandem employing a kind of good cop-bad cop strategy. The brothers’ relationship, (harkening that of George and Lenny in Of Mice and Men) is close-binding; there is something foreboding in their past that has made them especially protective of one another. Katurian is the resourceful father-figure constantly watching over Michal, making sure he is well cared for, unhurt, and never without the company of an unsettling tale.
From the interrogation room we are transported between harsh totalitarian reality and a story-conjured fantasy world that is immersed in a subtle beautification of the melancholic-manic through its gruesome anthropological narratives. As the two realms come together in unfolding the mystery behind the murders, we come to find who responsible for these heinous and unthinkable acts.
The Pillowman opens Friday June 12, 2015 at the Exit Theatre and runs Thursday-Saturday thru June 29. www.theexit.org
Directed by Ariel Craft
Scenic design by Devin Kaspar
Lighting design by Amanda Ortmayer
Costume design by Brooke Jennings
Sound design and composition by Liz Ryder