‘The Hangman’s Tale’ is exactly what the title suggests. Martin Oldfield tells the story of Britain’s most famous hangman, giving a compelling performance in his own right but also raising intelligent issues about the tension involved in Pierrepoint’s profession. Pierrepoint leads us through the tale of his career with humour, honesty and a steely conviction for what he believes in; against this, a young man waits in his cell, Pierrepoint’s final ‘job’. Although Oldfield dominates the play, his supporting actor steers clear of cliché and acts as a constant visual contrast to Oldfield’s almost inhumane depiction of a hangman’s profession. An excellently executed (excuse the pun) exploration of death and duty, ‘The Hangman’s Tale’ is a strong and interesting piece of theatre.
Sweet Grassmarket, 6-24 Aug, 6.10pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [India Doyle]