“The Hangman”

robert massimi
2 min readApr 27, 2022

Broadway’s Electrifying New Play.

Robert Massimi.

The Hangman at The Golden Theatre is one for the aegis… funny, macabre and down right inappropriate. Martin McDonagh's killer satire keeps the laughs coming when in 1965 England, hanging has been outlawed. A year after the last deed, Harry (David Threlfall) a famous hangman- now owns a pub in the north and is a bit of a celebrity with the old drunks that occupy his establishment.

With 233 kills under his belt, Harry is able to push around his clientele because they are star stuck with this old codger. McDonagh ( Three Billboards, The Pillowman) has his hangman during the anniversary of a man who was convicted of killing a young woman, even though the evidence against him was weak and he protested his innocence till his last breath, he was hung regardless. On this day, a man named Mooney (Allen) arrives in the pub. He becomes close with Harry’s daughter, Shirley (Gaby French).

Anna Fleischle’s set is the best one of the year. As the jail cell dissipates into the sky, the pub appears and that is where many of the scenic surprises happen. This gives director Matthew Dumster plenty of wiggle room to have his larger than life Harry, the ensemble of stars and the sly Mooney too work on each other creating an illusion as to what is about to happen. The entire cast from Tracie Bennett, Harry’s wife onto French are all top notch. While there may be debate about which play is McDonagh’s best, “The Hangman” is right up there as his best work. While parts of the first act can get slow leaving many to dose off for a spell, the show picks up by the end of act one. The second act is a rapid fire dose of comedy and action.

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robert massimi

Drama critic for Nimbus Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine and New York Lifestyles Magazine. Producer, editor and writer.