But first, as a happy surprise for Londoners and theatre fans, Turner is bringing his star power to the stage. He will play an Irish terrorist with a penchant for cats in Michael Grandage's revival of The Lieutenant Of Inishmore.
The first and only time Turner has been on the London stage was his drama school debut: a 2005 production of The Plough And The Stars at the Barbican. Since then he become a household name thanks to roles in the Hobbit films and the popularity of Poldark. ‘Theatre was it for me,’ Turner told the Daily Mail. ‘That’s all I really wanted to do. The TV and film stuff got in the way slightly.’
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore offers a drastically different role. The 2001 play by Martin McDonagh – muti-award-winning writer behind hit films and plays including Seven Psychopaths, The Pillowman and Hangmen – is bitterly funny and unashamedly violent. Some theatre companies feared that staging it would threaten to unsettle the peace in Ireland.
The story's set in 1993 during the very early stages of the Northern Irish peace process. Turner plays Padraic, a man so unhinged the IRA don't want him and even the Irish National Liberation Army are wary of him. Padraic is mid-way through torturing a Belfast drug-dealer when news comes that beloved cat Wee Thomas is ill. Padraic rushes home to the island of Inishmore, only to discover that his cat has been the victim of a sadistic attack. And so madman Padraic sets out to seek revenge for the sake of poor Wee Thomas.
It's a bloody, blackly funny story exploring the ways in which violence becomes normalised. Let's just hope director Michael Grandage has a few creative and cruelty free ideas for staging the infamous cat scene. With a quarter of all tickets available for just £10, and the excitement of Aidan Turner's West End debut, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is likely to sell out long ahead of opening night.
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore follows on from a revival of John Logan's Red as part of a two-play season for Michael Grandage's theatre company.
|What||The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre|
|Where||Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
23 Jun 18 – 08 Sep 18, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£10 - £100|
|Website||Click here to book now|