The Cripple of Inishmaan and Landmark Tavern

Oh Harry, we hardly knew ye! Daniel Radcliffe with Sarah Greene.
The Cripple of Inishmaan, written when playwright Martin McDonagh was only twenty-five, is based on real events. In the 1930s, a filmmaker visited a remote Aran island to make a documentary, The Man of Aran.

McDonagh’s dark comedy takes place in 1934. Christopher Oram’s circular set rotates three locations: the store, the shore and the bedroom. The sparse visuals and ocean sounds take us right there. Billy, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is lame and orphaned, taken in by two shop keeper aunties, sensationally played by Gillian Hanna and Ingrid Craigie. We love hearing them worry over Billy’s future and his fascination with cows. Radcliffe (a.k.a Harry Potter) is totally convincing as Billy, book smart but bored, and utterly captivated by red-haired Helen, played by Sarah Greene, a sharp-tongued beauty who has been known to smash eggs over people’s heads. The aunts fret over this evil, wicked Helen's effect on gentle Billy’s fragile heart.

Just when you think it’s calm, the town gossip, fabulously played by Pat Shortt, reveals that a Hollywood filmmaker is casting a movie on a neighboring isle and taking the cast to LA. Billy decides to sneak away with a group of young hopefuls and try his luck. Surprisingly, the filmmakers are looking for a “cripple.” But Hollywood does not hold the charm of Inishmaan for Billy, and he returns to what is familiar: verbal and physical abuse, but it’s home. 

Scotch Eggs
The Landmark Tavern opened in 1868 as a waterfront saloon on the ground floor. Prohibition changed the upstairs living quarters into a speakeasy. Michael Younge, the current co-owner, tells us that the tavern has two ghosts: a Confederate soldier who died in the tub upstairs and a girl who wasted away of consumption. 

For one hundred plus years Landmark has served Guinness on tap and corned beef. Now pastas, chicken wraps and burgers, but Irish fare will always be on the menu: bangers and mash, fish and chips and Scotch eggs. Shepherds pie with peas, carrots, beef, onions, and a ribbon of mashed potatoes made my husband very happy. French fries come with almost everything and the side of garlic mayo was tasty enough for a refill. On Mondays Celtic musicians (flute, banjo, accordion and fiddle) gather in back and play from 8-11.