Martin McDonagh’s new play “Hangmen,” a high-profile Tony Award contender starring former “Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens, will not reopen on Broadway, the show’s producers announced late Friday.
The dark comedy, which played 13 preview performances ahead of an expected March 19 official opening, is the first casualty of the shutdown of all Broadway theaters ordered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“With no definite end in sight of the government’s closure and Broadway’s suspension, we have no alternative but to release the actors from their contracts and close the production,” producers Robert Fox, Jean Doumanian, Elizabeth I. McCann and Craig Balsam said in a statement. “Given our show’s budget and capitalization, we do not have the economic resources to be able to continue to pay the theater owners, cast and crew through this still undefined closure period. Therefore, in the interests of all involved, we regretfully have no choice but to close the show.”
To make up for the show’s premature closure, the producers did release a short video montage (above) of scenes from the Broadway production including a riff from Stevens on whether he is more “funny” or “menacing.”
Director Matthew Dunster’s production first played in London beginning in 2015 and won the Olivier Award for Best Play. Two years ago, it played at Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.
In addition to Stevens, the cast included include Mark Addy (“Game of Thrones”), Tracie Bennett (“End of the Rainbow”), Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting”), Owen Campbell (“Indian Summer”), Gaby French (“Military Wives”), John Hodgkinson, Richard Hollis and John Horton.
Stevens, who made his Broadway debut in a 2012 revival of “The Heiress” opposite Jessica Chastain, played Mooney, a well-dressed stranger who turns up in a quiet neighborhood pub in northern England in 1965 — and wreaks all sorts of havoc for the locals. Johnny Flynn originated the role in London as well as Off Broadway.
Addy played Harry, the proprietor of the pub and a local celebrity as Britain’s second most famous executioner — not adjusting to the news that the country has abolished capital punishment by hanging. As you might expect from the Oscar-winning writer-director of “In Bruges” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” the play features plenty of dark humor and narrative twists.