The Pillowman A Play

Martin McDonagh

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

112 Pages


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In The Pillowman, a comic yet horrific drama from one of Ireland's leading contemporary playwrights, a writer living in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories—and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town.

This play was first presented at London's National Theatre in November of 2003.


Praise for The Pillowman

"Comedies don't come any blacker than [McDonagh's] spellbinding stunner of a play . . . Yet for all its darkness of plot and imagery, The Pillowman dazzles . . . This season's most exciting and original new play."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"McDonagh is destined to be one of the theatrical luminaries of the 21st century."—The New Republic

"A complex tale about life and art, about fact and illusion, about politics, society, cruelty and creativity."—Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times

"Martin McDonagh, master of bad taste in black comedy's cause and persistent enfant terrible, leaps towards maturity in this dazzling, disquieting nightmare of a play which makes up its own Grimm fairy-tales."—Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard

"A play of extraordinary power and stunning theatrical bravura."—Michael Coveney, Daily Mail

"McDonagh is more than just a very clever theatrical stylist. His tricks and turns have a purpose. They are bridges over a deep pit of sympathy and sorrow, illuminated by a tragic vision of stunted and frustrated lives."—Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Martin McDonagh

  • Martin McDonagh is the author of several plays, including the Tony Award-nominated Beauty Queen of Leenane.