Dark Irish Comedy is a Wild Blend of Thriller and Violent Melodrama

An hysterically comedic play that charts the life of a 40-year-old virgin, her relationship with her manipulative mother and her last chance of real romance.

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)

That’s ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’, this month’s presentation from Newport Playgoers at the Dolman Theatre.

In their lonely cottage in the mountains of County Galway, Maureen Folan is always at odds with her mother, a sour old woman self-exiled to a rocking chair who persecutes her daughter with demands for porridge.

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)

One day 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…

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.

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 at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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