Luna Theater's crackerjack production of The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh's terrifying, almost-funny play, adds to Luna's roster of profoundly edgy, creepy shows. Luna has carved out a niche market for itself that is much like McDonagh's, whose grotesquely weird and grim entertainments such as The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Beauty Queen of Lenane, and The Cripple of Inishmaan have become staples of the contemporary stage.
"The first duty of a storyteller is to tell a story," Katurian Katurian says to his brutal interrogator in an unnamed police state. There has been a series of child murders imitating events in Katurian's gruesome stories, and the writer and his brain-damaged brother are being held under suspicion. The play is a puzzle, brain-teasing us, flirting with big questions about, say, the moral responsibility of an author to the public, or whether there is a causal relationship between violence and creativity, or whether all art is political, or whether life is even worth living in McDonagh's cruel world.