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The Bull Ring in Northwich

Looking up the High Street in Northwich

Looking up Witton Street in Northwich

Approaching Weaver Square from Witton Street in Northwich

Town Square in Weaver Square Shopping Centre

Market Way in the Weaver Square Shopping Centre

Looking down Witton Street in Northwich

Northwich Library on Witton Street

Harlequin Players present The Hangmen
Harlequin Theatre
Wednesday 11th December 2019 - Saturday 14th December 2019

‘Hangmen’ is a late 1960s-set black comedy about a retired executioner, Harry Wade (presumably named after real-life hangmen Harry Allen and Stephen Wade), that unfolds in the smoky lung of a Manchester pub run by this upright local celebrity.

It is the day that hanging is abolished in 1965. A baby-faced newspaperman wants an interview with Harry. Any mention of ‘celebrity’ executioner Albert Pierrepoint gets Harry’s goat. The regulars slip into an easy hierarchy of knockabout male power, matters turn uneasy when a cocky young southerner, Mooney, starts to ingratiate himself at the pub. Unease turns to dread when Harry’s daughter, Shirley goes missing and Harry’s former assistant, Syd has suspicions about the culprit.

McDouagh's writing feels ’60s in origins, with echoes of Harold Pinter’s linguistic gamesmanship and Joe Orton’s gallows humour. For much of the past decade, McDonagh, after earlier successes like ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ and ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’, has put his mind to film, making‘In Bruges’, 'Seven Psychopaths’ and the multi award winning 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'. There’s a hint of 1960s cinema in ‘Hangmen’ too. That partly comes via the northern kitchen-sink dramas of the decade, but it’s also there in how young Mooney nods to the discomforting modish charm of the likes of Malcolm McDowell: a sinister spotlight in the gloom.

For all its talk of hanging and abolition, this isn’t a political play. It’s more about the past catching up with the present, and about power and pride among men. A hangman might wield power over his victim – but there’s always someone round the corner with a bigger, longer rope if he’s not careful. It’s A vicious, funny play, stained with nicotine and nihilism.

Martin McDonagh is best known for feature films: In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (winner of three BAFTA Awards and two Golden Globe Awards).


7.45pm - £10.00 (£9.00 students)

Please Note: Whilst we strive to keep our information up to date, this information can change without notice.
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Harlequin Theatre
Harlequin Theatre
Queen Street

Tel: 01606 246831

WWW: Click here for More Information and Booking


Please Note: The information regarding this event was correct at the date of publication. Whilst we strive to keep our information up to date, this information can change without notice. Please check with the event before attending.

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