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By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Andrew Cross

Auditions: TBC
Performances:  29 September - 9 October 2021

About the Play

“I’m just as good as bloody Pierrepoint.”

In his small pub in Oldham, Harry is something of a local celebrity. But what’s the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they’ve abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and sycophantic pub regulars, dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, a peculiar stranger lurks, with a very different motive for his visit.

“Don’t worry. I may have my quirks but I’m not an animal. Or am I? One for the courts to discuss.”

This is a very black comedy by the author of In Bruges and The Skulls of Connemara.


Initial auditions will be held on 3 and 4 July (daytime) and call backs on 6 July (evening). Rehearsals begin start of August. Performance dates: 29 September to 10 October 2021.

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The Characters



The central character of the play. A loyal gentleman. He and his wife run the pub where the action takes place. He’s also a local celebrity, being the chief hangman on the day hanging is abolished. He is a bluff, blunt and proud Northerner


The landlady who runs the pub with her husband, Harry


The teenage daughter of Harry and Alice


Assistant hangman to Hennessy. Now questioning the consequences of capital punishment


Old bar crony. The pub’s innocent. Alcoholic


Old bar crony. Balances out the antics of Bill and Arthur


Old bar crony. Dry, deadpan and tactless, Arthur is a regular at the bar


Local journalist who comes to interview Harry about his role as a hangman and his thoughts on the abolition of hanging

Inspector Fry

A physically intimidating plainclothes policeman


A young man from London or thereabouts. He applies for a room in Alice’s pub


The foremost hangman in England


A young man in jail waiting to be hanged. A young wheeler-dealer who finds himself

in a lot more trouble than he bargained for


At Hennessy’s hanging to prove the task was properly executed


At Hennessy’s hanging to see that the task was properly executed


At Hennessy’s hanging to help with the task of proper execution