In 1934, the people of Inishman learn that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighbouring island to film his documentary Man of Aran. No-one is more excited than Cripple Billy, an unloved boy whose chief occupation has been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him. For Billy is determined to cross the sea and audition for the Yank. And as news of his audacity ripples thorugh his rumour-starved community, The Cripple of Inishmaan becomes a merciless portrayal of a world so comically cramped and mean-spirited that hope is an affront to its order. With this bleak yet uproariously funny play, the young Anglo-Irish dramatist Martin McDonagh fulfills the promise of his award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane while confirming his place in a tradition that extends from Synge to O'Casey and Brendan Behan.
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Date of Publication: 10/02/1997