‘Beauty Queen’ is looking good!

Life is a constant battle of wills between Maureen (Meryl Herbert) and her conniving mother Mag (Eileen Symonds).

Life is a constant battle of wills between Maureen (Meryl Herbert) and her conniving mother Mag (Eileen Symonds). (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Next month’s production by Newport Playgoers is The Beauty Queen of Leenane,  a wild blend of outrageous comedy thriller, violence and grand melodrama.

Written by Martin McDonagh, the play rocketed him to fame when it opened in the West End in 1996, winning a nomination for Best Play at the Olivier Awards, with the subsequent Broadway production winning four Tony Awards.

Maureen (Meryl Herbert) finds a last chance of romance with Pato (David Livingstone), a simple-minded labourer

Maureen (Meryl Herbert) finds a last chance of romance with Pato (David Livingstone), a simple-minded labourer (Photo: Phil Mansell)

This hysterically comedic, edge-of-your-seat play charts the life of Maureen Folan, a 40-year-old virgin and her relationship with her manipulative mother, a sour old woman self-exiled to a rocking chair who persecutes her daughter with demands for porridge.

In their lonely cottage in the mountains of County Galway, Maureen bites back until the chance of escape comes in the shape of Pato, a simple-minded local who has returned from working in England. Maureen sees this as her last chance for love.

However, as their relationship flourishes a shocking and disturbing train of events is set in motion…

Maureen (Meryl Herbet) is tempted to conk Ray (James Symonds) on the noggin with a poker (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Maureen (Meryl Herbet) is tempted to conk Ray (James Symonds)
on the noggin with a poker (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Since writing this play, McDonagh has been as well known for his movies as for his plays with In Bruges earning him an Oscar nomination and Seven Psychopaths gaining critical acclaim in 2012.

‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane is at the Dolman Theatre from 16 – 19 October 2013.

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