Martin Mcdonagh's 'the Lieutenant of Inishmore' on the Stage Essay

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Workshop: Approach to Acting, ‘Lieutenant of Inishmore’

The characters of ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ are first and foremost not intended to be portrayed in a realistic manner as convincing psychologically well rounded individuals. They are however presented in a three dimensional manner although they generally have one over riding drive in the play which motivates everything they say and do. They are so entrenched in this driving force that they are incapable of change and no matter what situations arise during the play their inner action never changes.

Workshop Tasks:
Scene 1, page 6 (From, Donny: He isn’t my fecking cat at all……. to Davey: Oh Jesus Christ, Donny! Not your Padraic in the INLA

Two Actors, Realistic
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Look at the character at the beginning of the play & when the audience last meet this character. Has the driving force/inner action been changed by events & situations in the play? In groups consider individual characters in this light.

Write a paragraph which begins with the following topic sentence.

An actor approaching the presentation of character’s from McDonagh’s ‘Lieutenant of Inishmore’ cannot rely on a psychological realistic approach to character creation.

Explain what this means……

Then give an example from your workshopping of scenes from the play to illustrate the points you make.

Exercise 2: Do you find the characters in ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ realistic, or merely functional to the plot, or a mixture of both? Justify your reasons using workshop examples of scenes that you participated in or observed others enacting.


To maintain the dramatic tension of the play, the scene transitions need to be quite smooth and maintain the pace of the action.

Consider how the same set might be used throughout the play with only minor adjustments being made to suggest the different settings to the audience. Create a set that would suit the first of the following scenes & explain how you would change the set to suit the following scene if you were staging a production on an open or thrust stage with no curtain closing between scenes. Envisage

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