Best Theatrical Production
The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
"Production" is the key word here. Martin McDonagh's pitch-black 2001
comedy about how a dead cat belonging to an Irish splinter-group
terrorist leads inevitably to a bloodbath may seem like light
entertainment compared to his deeply creepy Pillowman, which
played Berkeley Rep in 2007, but the execution of The Lieutenant of
Inishmore this April and May was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Director Les Waters (who also staged Pillowman) and his cast,
designers, and crew did an amazing job with the hefty challenges of
tech, timing, and tone that the play presents: thick Irish dialect,
more than thirty gallons of blood flowing in each performance,
incredibly realistic gunshots and blood spatters, an actor performing
an entire scene while hanging from his feet, the grisly sight and sound
of sawing body parts, and, most of all, making the whole thing funny.
It would have been easy for the farcical elements to get drowned in the
gore, but instead Waters and company managed to make this bloody
concoction not just palatable but delicious.