Misterman – A Sold Out Theatrical Performance by Cillian Murphy

July has finally ended and as much as I wanted to go to Ireland to see Cillian’s one man performance…I was struck with the fact that I don’t have enough money to go to Ireland 😦

Click this button to see more post on Monthly Murphy

This month’s Monthly Murphy will emphasize on his performance in Misterman, the reason why I want to go to Ireland.

Thomas is on a journey. Where did it begin? What voices does he hear? And what will they tell him to do?

Cillian Murphy makes his eagerly–awaited return to the stage in a dark, dangerous and blisteringly funny tale of one man and his judgement day.

What kind of story is Misterman?

Seen through the eyes of a quiet, devoutly religious loner – or, more precisely, created in front of us with his jerry-rigged apparatus – it is a place somewhere between purgatory and hell, where Thomas Magill, instrument of the Lord, carefully records everybody’s daily trespasses.

Alone in Black Box Theatre’s eerily cavernous space, Cillian Murphy’s sandals and biblical beard may suggest a Messiah complex, but Enda Walsh’s greatly expanded version of his 1999 play pushes further: he is actually playing God. “Let there be light,” says Murphy, and lo, lamps burn from above and below, casting ghoulish shadows across Jamie Vartan’s exposed, industrial set.

(taken from Irish Time)

Thomas Magill (a hirsute Cillian Murphy) is a well-meaning evangelist who has an obsession with sin. Sifting through his memory, he repeatedly relives his searches for the heavenly peace that he might expect to come “dropping slow” in his town of Innisfree. Frustrated by all around him, and on the day of the town’s ‘community dance’, Thomas decides to set off on a proselytizing tour of his neighbours. From the ban an tí to the garage mechanic and even to Roger the dog, “sin is our religion” and yet all could be saved if Thomas works hard enough. Lonely, mocked and often thwarted in his mission, Thomas’ zeal is re-charged when the angelic Edel offers to accompany him in his good works…

(Taken from Irish Theatre Magazine)

You can see behind the stage in this site (shared by Barry)

Collection of praise on his performance in Misterman:

The crowd

“I’ve never revisited any of my plays before,” Walsh reveals, “but Cillian came to me one day about two years ago and said he would really like to perform Misterman. When I looked at it again, I felt there was a lot more I could do with the play. I wanted to delve deeper into Thomas and really crack open the head of this character and all his dealings with issues of guilt.

And in Cillian Murphy we have an actor who has the intensity and courage to push himself to the limit. Working to all our potential I hope and believe we can offer a slice of Ireland and Irish theatre that feels dangerous, deeply unsettling, and challenging for any audience.”

Enda Walsh‘s opinion about Cillian shared in Galway Advertiser

In a genuinely virtuoso performance, Murphy thus uses the minute detail of a film actor – his flickering eyes and expressive range are deftly eloquent – together with an impressive physicality that fills the stage (Walsh’s frequent collaborator Mikel Murfi is movement director). Delineating between several characters with instant shifts in voice and body, he charges through the space, never removing a prop if it can be flung, never approaching a liquid without sloshing it over his ruined world. It’s fiendishly enjoyable to watch, as are the fillips of hokey stage devices, even as the dread of his tale creeps up on you.

Peter Crawley from Irish Time

To describe Cillian Murphy as amazing in Enda Walsh’s one-man show Misterman barely begins to do justice to the actor’s performance.

There are moments when he barely moves, moments when he can’t stand still and at one point when he is cowering during a beating from an irate neighbour, it’s difficult to believe that he is the only person on stage

Judi Murphy from Galway City Tribune

Murphy relishes the swift character changes and the opportunity to use every voice, body and acting contortion conceived by Stanislavsky and beyond. The dance, mimicry, physical japes, even Murphy’s well-known cutesy little-boy act: all are well executed, timed and impeccably judged. One realises why he is so requested: Murphy hits the mark every time.

Matthew Harrison from Irish Theatre Magazine

Under Walsh’s direction, Cillian Murphy turns in an electrifying, bravura performance as Thomas Magill, the prophet without honour in his hometown who seeks in vain to set his neighbours on the road of godly righteousness

Charlie Mcbride from Galway Advertiser

The scale of the staging dilutes some of the intensity in this production, but Murphy is riveting, even in scenes that seem over-extended

Helen Meany from Guardian.co.uk

Standing ovations for Cillian Murphy in Misterman.
“We are absolutely delighted at the response to Misterman, which is one of the most successful shows ever staged by the festival,” said Mr Fahy.

Kernan Andrews  from Galway Advertiser


Barry Houlihan who works for Galway University as a researcher for the English/Theatre and History Departments had written a marvelous post about The Magic of Misterman in his blog,  Staged Reaction. He also shared an interesting article about Cillian and Walsh reunite in his archive of the Galway Arts Festival. He has kindly shared his thought about Misterman to me 🙂 Thank you Barry.

Misterman was the highlight of the 2011 Galway Arts Festival. Written by the immense and award winning Enda Walsh, Misterman, was specially reworked for the Festival and with Cillian Murphy in mind for the lead role. Murphy is simply outstanding in the role in what is edge-of-your-seat theatre. Misterman is an incredible achievement between Walsh and Murphy and it astounded all who were lucky enough to see it

I totally envy him…but I wasn’t lucky enough to live in Galway, Ireland, like him.

He also shared this nice mp3 file : Miriam Meets… Enda Walsh and Cillian Murphy

What he said about being on stage

“It is haunting my dreams and just taking over,” he says. “I adore that sort of immersion in work. It’s all you think about and all you live and breathe, and to me that’s more exciting than popping in to play a cameo in a film or something.”

Special gratitude to CillianSite that always constantly updating the site with so many links of news  about him
And most pictures are taken from cillian murphy tumblr fan account…thank you so much
Great shots of him with beard…even with so many hair on his face,he is still looking gorgeous *love* (click this link to see it better) and I did a photoshop on 2 photos from the photos below, see it here


Extra News! (please don’t make this the main talk in the comment)


This is not related to Misterman, but the trailer of Cillian’ s newest movie, In Time, has been released recently. As I have already said so many times…I am not intrigued by the story or  plot of this movie and I hate the leading actor. Basically,I  will not see this if Cillian is not in it…plus he is looking hot in that suit 🙂


He is the only one I want to see (copied from Ride The Kick)



    1. Yup I have different opinion to you and Dezzmond 🙂

      A story where the rich is like God while the poor is like maggot NEVER appealed me. This one is no exception. Plus the plot is so predictable.
      …but, I am still hoping that maybe after I see it I can still write good review (somehow), in other word it isn’t as bad as I think it is.

      1. Yep, I’m with Dirty! Justin is a super talented person and a huge charmer as well. Can’t wait to watch the film especially since I love Andrew Niccol’s artsy sf visuals and his refined approach to drama and stories!

        1. I’m with you about In Time, Nov. Every time I saw the trailer came on (twice already this week!) I kept thinking man, why didn’t they make Cillian the lead actor??! I think Justin is ok as supporting actor, but I don’t think I can watch 2-hr with him having the most screen time.

          1. Hear hear!!! I don’t think I can stand 2 hours of seeing his annoying face. I am torn between seeing it in cinema (because I can see Cillian’s facein big screen) and in DVD (because I can skip most of the parts I don’t like…but Cillian’s face will be no bigger than 21 inches).

            Timberlake and the plot make me not as excited as I used to be when seeing Cillian’s next movie. I feel more excited when Tron was about to come out…and he was only 2 minutes in it.

  1. Fascinating post. It seems as if he thinks he is more immersed in a play than a film. Interesting.
    I’m also interested to see In Time but like you I have a Justin Timberlake aversion although I must admit he isn’t such bad actor.

    1. Thank you Caroline 🙂
      This post consumed a lot of searching time…but I am willing to do that for him. Even though I can’t see the performance, at least I know what had happened there.

      I read somewhere that theatre is a must for him, 5 or 6 years without doing theatre is impossible. It’s like a dopping for a better acting. (or something like that, I forgot the exact words).

      Hehehe I never said Justin is a bad actor…I just DON’T like him. But the major reason I am not interested with the movie is the plot, I have said to Julian (DirtyWithClass), story of Rich people acted like God and poor were treated like worm is never appealing to me. I always switched the TV channel, closed the book and turned off a DVD when I saw such plot. For me that kind of discrimination is worse than racialism.
      If Cillian isn’t in it, no one could make me march to the cinema even if I am getting paid…that is how much I hate such plot (plus that is how much I like Cillian…if you get what I mean 😉 )

        1. Well, in defense of the movie, i don’t think its trying to portray that type of world as a god thing

          And imo the only reason to dislike a actor is you don’t like there performances, but i realize not everybody shares that opinion

    1. Yaii indeed 🙂
      I wish I was there to see it and give him a standing ovation.

      Hahaha and now I am the only one who isn’t showing any interest toward the movie…and I stand firm on my ground for that 😉

    1. Yup…he is awesome!! 😀

      Sunshine could be better without the slasher thing. I like how it ends…but the slasher thingy was just a bit off, IMO

  2. Dear Novi,

    LOVE the post!! That is the best round-up on Misterman that I’v seen. Well done! And thanks a million for the links, you’re too kind! Thanks again.

    All the best,


    1. You are most welcome Barry 🙂
      Thank you for saying that and a big hug for the link to the interview. I love listening to both Enda and Cillian’s accent,their Cork accent is so thick.

      Please let me know again if you have another post about Cillian’s performance on stage….and if there is a possibility that Misterman is being recorded…I would love to see it.

      It’s been nice meeting you Barry

  3. as I said.. keep dreaming.. dreams do come true!
    I like that he is a very private guy and not afraid of challenges.. 90minutes on his own on the stage..wow!

    1. I will 🙂

      You know, almost all the actors/actress I like are not the kinds that like to be in the spotlight. I like those kind of celebrities.
      I think ‘Challenge’ is his middle name. In the interview (I shared the link in the post), he said that he will not look backward by saying certain role was his best performance, he has to keep seeing forward and keep doing his best.

      Did you know that his first professional stage performance was a 2 actors show? Only He and Eileen Walsh were on the stage of Disco Pigs.

  4. Wow, it takes an amazing talent and courage to do a one-man show like this. Kudos to Cillian! As for the subject matter, I hope he doesn’t do this just to bash Christianity as with any other religion, there are always going to be people who misinterpret its original teaching, but it doesn’t mean every believer in Christ does this. In any case, anyone having ‘obsession with sin’ whether being involved with certain sins or trying NOT to sin is setting themselves up for grief and misery.

    1. Amazing talent and courage is a perfect way to describe this show. Misterman was already performed years ago…Cillian came to Enda and asked him to do it again with him as the actor. He wanted to got back to theater and what better way to come back but a one-man show?

      I don’t think it is about certain religion.Enda said (in the review that I have donwloaded) that Thomas Magill is a deluded man that somehow seems like a monster. When we see the character in the beginning,we will hate him but as the time goes we started to understand him better. From the way Enda described it, I want to see it even more.

    2. I don’t think it’s the religion which is the focus of the play, but the person who turns it into an obession and twists the real meaning. Tomas Magill could have been of any religion, it just so happens he follows the Christian religion. Some people just has a way of turning anything good into something bad.

      1. Thank you for explaining it Sharon 🙂
        I also believe it’s like that even though I didn’t watch it. I gathered that from the interviews I read.

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