The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Performance dates 23rd – 28th April 2012
The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, directed by Nola Dutton

The story is set in the Irish village of Leenane, Connemara in the early 1990’s and centres on the life of Maureen Folan, a 40-year-old spinster who takes care of her selfish and manipulative 70 year old mother Mag. Maureen’s sisters have escaped into marriage and family life, but Maureen, with a history of mental illness, is trapped in a seriously dysfunctional relationship with her mother.

The Folan cottage is visited by Pato Dooley and his younger brother Ray. Pato is a middle-aged construction worker fed up with having to live and work in England, disappointed by the limitations and loneliness of his life. The day-to-day sameness is tedious also for Ray, a non-threatening “bad boy”.

The glimmer of a last-chance romance between Maureen and Pato sparks up but the plot, full of deceptions, secrets and betrayals interspersed with turnabouts, keeps surprising the audience. Hopes are raised only to be dashed.