The Pillowman, Criterion Theatre, Coventry, 19-22 February
Family viewing it is not, but Martin McDonagh's savage black comedy provides an absorbing challenge for any theatre company, and next week it is the Criterion's turn.
McDonagh's 2003 play tells the story of Katurian, a writer of fiction living in a police state who finds himself under interrogation after his gruesome stories are found to bear a troubling similarity to a series of brutal real-life murders. By turns disturbing, vicious and bleakly comic, it's the latest in a series of studio productions that the Criterion stages alongside its main-house programme to stretch the boundaries of challenging material for its audiences.
Steve Brown, making his directorial debut at the Criterion, interweaves film sequences with live scenes to explore a story of enormous intensity, with material that some might find uncomfortable, including the use of religious imagery.
Tickets from www.criteriontheatre.co.uk or from the box office on 024 7667 5175.