Gravely funny comedy with unexpected, gruesome plot twists

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“This is much more fun than cooking hamsters,” says Mairtin, as he smashes through a pile of pelvis bones with a mallet.

Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara is most definitely a comedy, but not one to be taken lightly. The show strongly appeals to all of those with a much darker side to their sense of humour.

Gravedigger Mick (Ged McKenna) faces the heartwrenching task of having to dig up the bones of his own wife. But as the play unfolds, so does a question about the nature of her death and just how much her loving husband played a part in it.

Although the show had a slightly slow start, due to the Irish dialogue which took time to adjust to, this was well made up for by the relentlessly energetic second act.

When Mick suspects his dippy but lovable assistant Mairtin (Rhys Dunlop) of an unforgiveable crime, his darker side is let loose.

An intriguing story, a solid set of characters and a unique ability to maintain an audience’s laughter despite dealing with some very grim themes, mean this play is not to be missed.

A Skull in Connemara runs at Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday June 6. Tickets are available from the box office on 0115 9419419 or

Photo by Robert Day