As part of the Live Stage to the Screen series, this Thursday Cineplex will be showing the recent winner of Best New Play at the Olivier Awards, Hangmen.
The piece was written and directed by one of the best playwrights at work in the UK, Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopats), who went ten years without treating his fans with new material, at least on stage.
Hangmen takes place mostly at a pub the day the British government announced the abolition of capital punishment (1965, not that long ago). While the decision has a considerable impact in the general population, no one is more affected than Harry Allen (David Morrissey), England’s second best executioner.
Harry is not a likeable character and the historical decision only exacerbates his less than savoury traits: Racist, homophobic and misogynistic to a fault, the protagonist must confront sins of the past (among others, the execution of innocents) and the fact that he will never dethrone the number one, actual historical figure Albert Pierrepoint. Doesn’t help everybody he encounters on this fateful day takes delight on pointing out this detail.
Morrissey (better known as the despicable Governor in The Walking Dead) is superb as Harry, a combustible mix of entitlement and wounded pride. McDonagh touches nearly every controversial topic in England during the Sixties, and does it with remarkable wit and a generous dash of political incorrectness. Hangmen is particularly good at explaining why men cling to power and what happens when it vanishes.
The length of Hangmen (two hours and a half) can be a notch challenging, but McDonagh’s darkly funny dialogue will keep you interested. After all, that’s how long Batman v Superman was and the script of that thing was painful.
Hangmen plays this Thursday at 7 pm at Cineplex Cinemas. Encore presentation, May 21st.
A MESSAGE TO OUR READERS The coronavirus pandemic is a moment of reckoning for our community. We’re all hurting. It’s no different at Prairie Dog, where COVID-19 has wiped out advertisements for events, businesses and restaurants as Regina and Saskatchewan hunker down in quarantine. As an ad-supported newspaper already struggling in a destabilized media landscape, this is devastating. We’re hoping you, our loyal readers, can help fill in the gap so Prairie Dog can not only continue to exist but even expand our coverage — both in print and online. Please consider donating, either one-time or, even better, on a monthly basis.
We believe Prairie Dog‘s unique voice is needed, now more than ever. For 27 years, this newspaper has been a critical part of Regina’s social, cultural and democratic infrastructure. Don’t let us fade away. There’s only one Prairie Dog. If it’s destroyed, it’s never coming back.