The Blackest of pitch black comedy fit to grace any stage

National Theatre Live's production of Martin McDonagh's Hangmen, starring David Morrissey, was screened at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Wednesday.
National Theatre Live's production of Martin McDonagh's Hangmen, starring David Morrissey, was screened at South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Wednesday.
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THEATRE REVIEW: Hangmen, National Theatre Live, South Holland Centre, Spalding

What does Her Majesty’s chief executioner do when the Government decides to abolish capital punishment?

That was the question asked by National Theatre Live’s latest screening to Spalding’s South Holland Centre, Hangmen, written by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh who is most famous for the cult 2008 movie In Bruges.

A cast packed full of familiar faces from TV, including David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, Red Riding), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty) and Tony Hurst (Coronation Street), revelled in the sometimes macabre plot about an ex-hangman running a pub with his wife and daughter.

But when Harry (Morrissey) fears that his morbid past has caught up with him after his daughter Alice is kidnapped, the pub owner reverts back to his old, rope-pulling days when he interrogates a stranger who happend to find himself in the north and may have links with one of Harry’s victims.

Harry’s former assistant Syd (Andy Nyman of Peaky Blinders) joins in with the mock execution of stranger Mooney (Johnny Flynn) that turns all too real as old, terminal habits die hard.

In short, Hangmen is Only Fools and Horses meets the Grim Reaper.

Review by Winston Brown