|Written by||Martin McDonagh|
|Date premiered||18 September 2015|
|Place premiered||Royal Court Theatre, London|
Hangmen is a play by the British-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It received its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in September 2015, before transferring to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre. The play was directed by Matthew Dunster, designed by Anna Fleischle, and featured David Morrissey and Reece Shearsmith among others. It was universally acclaimed by theatre critics, and was nominated for numerous awards including the Olivier Awards, Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. For its U.S. premiere in 2018 at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company, Hangmen won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.
Hangmen takes place in 1965 in the UK. It centers around an executioner named Harry Wade. Harry is the second best hangman in the land, and he owns a pub with his wife, Alice, and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Shirley. Harry is forced to deal with the abolition of hangings, and the pub is filled with people who have various motives concerning Harry's profession. A stranger named Mooney comes to the pub and causes trouble, flirting with Harry's daughter to get under his skin. Mooney toys with Harry and makes Harry and Alice believe he has kidnapped and killed their daughter Shirley. This pushes Harry to hang Mooney illegally, which was Mooney's goal all along. The play ends with Harry dealing with the justification of the hanging he performed in the very beginning of the play.
Hangmen is written by playwright Martin McDonagh. The play is set primarily in Oldham during 1965 and centres around the abolition of the death penalty in the United Kingdom. On 15 July 2015, it was announced by artistic director Vicky Featherstone, that the play would receive its world premiere as part of the Royal Court Theatre's autumn 2015 season. It marked McDonagh's first London play since 2003, when The Pillowman debuted at the National Theatre. The play began previews on 10 September 2015, with an official opening night on 18 September, booking for a limited period until 10 October.
The play is directed by Matthew Dunster, with fight direction by Kate Waters, design by Anna Fleischle, lighting design by Joshua Carr and sound design by Ian Dickinson. Following its premiere production the play transferred to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre, where it began previews on 1 December 2015, with its official opening night on 7 December, booking until 5 March 2016. A typical performance ran two hours and thirty minutes, including one interval.
Hangmen was published by Faber and Faber on 17 September 2015 and received a National Theatre Live broadcast on 3 March 2016.
An encore broadcast was shown at selected Vue Cinemas across the UK on 22 March 2016.
The Royal Court production transferred to Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York from 18 January to 4 March 2018, with original cast members Reece Shearsmith, Sally Rogers and Johnny Flynn returning.
The play was scheduled to open on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on 19 March 2020, but the run was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic after thirteen previews.
|Character||Royal Court cast||West End cast||Off-Broadway cast||Broadway cast|
|Hennessy||Josef Davies||Gilles Geary||Josh Goulding|
|Clegg||James Dryden||Owen Campbell|
|Mooney||Johnny Flynn||Dan Stevens|
|Bill||Graeme Hawley||Tony Hirst||Richard Hollis|
|Pierrepoint||John Hodgkinson||Maxwell Caulfield||John Hodgkinson|
|Shirley||Bronwyn James||Gaby French|
|Harry||David Morrissey||Mark Addy|
|Syd||Reece Shearsmith||Andy Nyman||Reece Shearsmith||Ewen Bremner|
|Inspector Fry||Ralph Ineson||Craig Parkinson||David Lansbury||Jeremy Crutchley|
|Charlie||Ryan Pope||Billy Carter||Ryan Pope|
|Alice||Sally Rogers||Tracie Bennett|
|Guard||Mark Rose||Maxwell Caulfield||Richard Hollis|
|Arthur||Simon Rouse||John Horton|
The play has received positive reviews from critics.
The show won for best play and best set design at the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards as well as being nominated in the best director category. It also won best play and best designer at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2015  and best design at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015.
|2015||Critics' Circle Theatre Award||Best New Play||Martin McDonagh||Won|
|Best Designer||Anna Fleischle||Won|
|Evening Standard Theatre Award||Best Play||Martin McDonagh||Nominated|
|Best Designer||Anna Fleischle||Won|
|2016||Laurence Olivier Award||Best New Play||Won|
|Best Director||Matthew Dunster||Nominated|
|Best Set Design||Anna Fleischle||Won|
|South Bank Sky Arts Award||Theatre||Won|
|WhatsOnStage Award||Best New Play||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Play||Johnny Flynn||Nominated|