The Cripple of Inishmaan is a dark comedy by Martin McDonagh who links the story to the real life filming of the documentary Man of Aran.
The play is set on the small Aran Islands community of Inishmaan off the Western Coast of Ireland in 1934, where the inhabitants are excited to learn of a Hollywood film crew's arrival in neighbouring Inishmore to make a documentary about life on the islands. "Cripple" Billy Claven, eager to escape the gossip, poverty and boredom of Inishmaan, vies for a part in the film, and to everyone's surprise, the orphan and outcast gets his chance.... or so some believe.
The play is difficult; described as a ‘dark comedy’, it has plenty of laughs, but it also has plenty of darkness. Some of it can be played as pantomime and some as tragedy, because it deals with the everyday banter of a small community, but also with larger issues such as optimism and dreams, cruelty and love, truth and secrets.