The Lonesome West was first presented as a Druid Theatre Company and Royal Court coproduction in the summer of 1997, and is the final part of McDonagh’s trilogy set in an fictionalized and impoverished western Ireland village called Leenane. Its substantial themes and textured controversy make it a popular choice to studythe Catholic Church is exposed as irrelevant and powerless and the characters have a dangerously skewed sense of morality. The text is full of McDonagh’s characteristic combination of farce, aggression, and wit. The plot follows two brothers, Valene and Coleman, living alone in their father’s house after his recent death. They find it impossible to exist without massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the young local priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage. Martin McDonagh is the most controversial Irish dramatist working today, with his explorations of Irish national identity that look at the darker side of provincial life. His bleak but blackly comic portrayal of modern, rural Ireland courts debate with its dark farce, caricatures of violence and barbarism, and an exaggerated, poeticized dialect of Hiberno-English.
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