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A throng of fans wait for Daniel Radcliffe at the stage door of the Noel Coward Theatre, hoping to snatch a quick photo of him or get an autograph.

They’ve been watching him and his cast mates in Martin McDonagh’s merciless black comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan, a show full of bellyaches and heartache.

I found it funnier than when I first saw it 17 years ago.

It’s the third play in the inaugural season of the Michael Grandage Company, set up by Grandage (the former Donmar Theatre artistic director) and executive producer James Bierman.

The season started with Privates On Parade, followed by Peter And Alice. After Inishmaan comes A Midsummer Night’s Dream in September, and Henry V in November — starring Jude Law.

Director Grandage is thrilled with Radcliffe, and when I mentioned Sarah Greene (pictured with Daniel) — who plays the acerbic egg-breaker Helen — he went all giddy.

‘She’s going to be an absolute white hot talent!’ he exclaimed.

He’s right, too; but the entire company works beautifully.

Grandage and Bierman are pleased they have established a youth company, training posts for up-and-coming directors and designers, plus free shows for schools from disadvantaged areas.

The biggest hit, though, was the release of 100,000 tickets for £10 each, many of them snapped up by first-time theatre-goers.

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAANby MARTIN McDONAGH

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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