Even for a Martin McDonagh protagonist, Harry is an unusually prolific killer. He’s put 233 men in their graves. Yet Harry is not as delighted with his lot as you’d think: he’s merely the second-best executioner in town, and we’ll meet both in Hangmen (at the Linda Gross Theater through March 7 and expected at Broadway’s Cort Theatre a few weeks later). Any new play by McDonagh, the celebrated Anglo-Irish dramatist and filmmaker, constitutes an event, and this one is as viperishly funny as the norm. Considering the play in conjunction with McDonagh’s recent Oscar-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, though, is instructive and clarifying. What unifies the two works is breathtakingly unserious.

We open in familiar territory for a McDonagh work: a man is...

 

A Message from the Editors

Our past successes are owed to our greatest ambassadors: our readers. Our future rests on your support, as The New Criterion Editor Roger Kimball explains. Will you help us continue to bring our incisive review of the arts and culture to the next generation of readers?

Popular Right Now