The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh

Poster for Beauty Queen of Leenane

Maureen talking to her mother

Pato sitting at table writing letter




June 2009

a psychological drama

For their Summer production Ashby Dramatic Society chose the multi award winning drama “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” br Martin McDonagh. This wickedly funny, deeply affecting and terrifying thriller depicted Maureen Folan (Samantha Harvey-Beckett) a woman in her early forties, unmarried, plain and lonely. For far too long she had lived with Mag (Janet Thorpe), her aging manipulative mother in their isolated farmhouse deep in Ireland’s Connemara mountains. Then Maureen’s first opportunity for love presented itself at last, in the shape of Pato Dooley (Paul Oakden). Pato considered Maureen to be the beauty queen of the title but, when he was forced to return to England he left his somewhat unreliable younger brother Ray (Jordan Noon) to act as go between. Pato offered Maureen a real chance of escape to happiness. However, her mother had other ideas and her interference set in motion a train of events which led, with relentless inevitability, to the play’s terrible climax. The play has the perfect theatrical instincts: a sense of how to open up the story and reveal the histories and feelings of the characters with carefully measured and timed bits of information doled out as the plot unfolds with it’s deceptions, secrets and betrayals interspersed with just the right amount of turnabouts and suprises. Things are, of course, not always as they seem. When this play opened in New York it was nominated for no fewer than six ‘Tony’ Awards. Winning four, it also received the George Devine Award, Writers Guild award, Critics Guild award and the Evening Standard Award.

Maureen talking to Pato's younger brother

Pato's younger brother and Maureen's mother