“A behanding in spokane” is a McDonagh’s black comedy.
McDonagh is an Oscar winner and the same director who made “In Bruges” and which is called Tarantino from the theater. If this seems an insufficient argument to run and watch his play, we will add that the main role in it is played by one of the today’s best actors.
His hero is called Carmichael, he is somewhere forty or fifty years old, and he, as you may have guessed is handicapped. From this, and maybe even from what Carmichael has an ugly grim character. He sits in a room of a seedy hotel, where there is some insane cupboard, from which rushes and screams rush out, as if someone is rushing out. Carmichael first speaks on the phone, then reluctantly comes to the closet, is applied to his ear, then takes out a pistol from his pocket, opens the door and shoots inside. The closet fades. “I told you, huh?” He growls and again is going to phone someone. Promising a lot of messy tie will not disappoint – further more. It was time to use some nail guns. He pulls one of his best nailers to drive couple nails into the closet. However, it was a tiny brad nailer, so he hadn’t much luck with it.
Then it becomes clear that Carmichael lost his hand a very long time, when he was still seventeen, when he used a large framing nailer without sticking to the safety rules, and has been traveling around America for 27 years looking for his severed hand. In the process, the grim Mr. collected a bunch of someone else’s limbs, stuffed them with a suitcase and dragged him now from one place to another. And just now a couple of small marijuana shopkeepers foolishly decided to cheat on him, selling him the hand they had obtained in the museum, and, of course, they were horrified. They are threatened to explode with the hotel, and it is impossible to put out the candle, which is about to ignite a combustible mixture, because they are handcuffed. Fortunately, poor people have someone’s cut hands, with which you can shoot down the fire! The boy and the girl are played by Alice Stewardson and the daughter of the director Pauline Joulie. In addition to them in the whistle is quite a schizophrenic porter in the performance of Gregory Hinders. Moreover, Carmichael has an 80-year-old mother who falls from the trees (another question, how and why does she go there?).
In this riot of absurdity, a thriller, a comedy, a psychodrama, an excellent black humor, a detective and God knows what else, which makes the audience laugh, astonished and startled with horror. Everything changes very quickly, and the king of the situation becomes one, then another character. They are all unconditional bad guys, cruel and hostile to each other, but at the same time they are so vulnerable, helpless and alone. Like us…
“A behanding in spokane” is my favorite comedy so far. I want to talk about this performance, but I do not even know how to approach it. I rarely experience a feeling of complete and unconditional faith to the actor. Sometimes you look and yes – plays well, plays very well, plays luxuriously, communicates well. But rarely happens when you look – and you see an absolutely different person. When you see people, not actors. And not just people, but terrifying, terrible people, who don’t even know how to handle a nail gun. When you really believe that this person now, at this particular moment, can kill without a shadow of insecurity and pity. When you want to escape from the hall, because it is unbearably terrible even in one room with this person. When in a few minutes you have time to change the widest range of emotions. Laughter through tears. Involuntary, forced laughter over what can not be done, it is a sin to laugh at.
The actors… I do not even know how to comment on what they do.. It’s just a terrific theater performance i never saw before. Each of their roles is a masterpiece of Broadway. Do not get tired of discovering it and admiring it!
Feel free to share your personal opinion about this comedy by emailing me! Regards, Steve.