Alfie Allen on Hangmen

Alfie Allen on Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen and His Broadway Debut

Martin McDonagh’s highly anticipated and critically acclaimed dark comedy Hangmen will finally make its Broadway bow next month. The show, which was a hit Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2018, was set to open in the spring of 2020, but plans were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The play will now begin previews at the Golden Theatre on April 8. Hangmen is set in England in the 1960s, around the time hangings were abolished. The show centers around a star executioner named Harry and an encounter he has with a mysterious man called Mooney. Making his Broadway debut as Mooney is Game of Thrones alum Alfie Allen. Entertainment journalist Frank DiLella recently caught up with the English actor to talk tackling McDonagh on the Great White Way, and more.

This is your Broadway debut. Congratulations!

I’m just extremely excited to really get this show on its feet. Every time I read the script, I’m excited and petrified. [Laughs.] I don’t live in New York, so I don’t get to Broadway much, but when I am over there, I’ve enjoyed it. So I’m glad to be a part of this really great production.

What does Broadway mean to you?

Broadway, to me, it’s something that has been otherworldly to me in a great way. It’s been something to work toward. It just seems like a great community.

What is your most cherished Broadway memory?

I saw Doubt when I was a kid. It was my first experience with Broadway, and I just remember loving it.

Were you able to catch Hangmen here Off-Broadway or in London?

I saw it in London and it was brilliant. And I remember being blown away by the writing and even the set design.

What can you tell us about Mooney?

I don’t want to talk about the character that much because the writing is done in a way where you can feel one thing about this character and that would be completely different compared to the person sitting next to you. It’s just a super interesting character. And you never know where this character is coming from and what his motivations are.

You’re working with one of the greats of theater and film: Martin McDonagh.

I’m a big lover of his work. The Pillowman is one of my favorite plays. And, of course, the films In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

This is set during a very specific time in UK history.

It’s something from our history in the UK and we’re playing it to an audience in the US. I don’t know what the feeling is going to be like in the theatre with the audience. It’s a relic of our past, so to be performing it to US audiences, I think there will be different feelings to it.

I need to be clear: Yes, there is dark material, but this play is funny. 

I’ll just say this: It’s a great dark comedy.

What will be going through your mind when you make your first bow on Broadway?

Just enjoy it and don’t let the fear take over.

Are you ready for Game of Thrones fans to show up at the theatre?

It’s not something I thought about when I accepted the job. And then it dawned on me: Yes, it’s going to be a thing every night. I’m ready for it!

What was your craziest request from a Game of Thrones superfan?

I’ve been asked to sign some weird things. I’ve got loads of stories — but none that I’ll ever tell. [Laughs.]

There is talk of a Game of Thrones stage show; it’s in development. What are your thoughts on bringing it to the stage?

I didn’t even know that was a thing. I would say that the music will need to be a huge and great part of it. And I hope [Thrones composer] Ramin Djawadi will be involved with that.

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