Friday, 22 January 2016
The Beauty Queen of Leenane Says Hello
On the tail of "The Go-Between", rehearsals are already underway for Sewell Barn’s newest play ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’. The first play ever written from acclaimed playwright Martin McDonagh, who went on to pen ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ and the ‘Pillowman’, is a dark comedy depicting the dysfunctional relation between a spinster and her domineering mother. The wicked humour and twisted violence foreshadows McDonagh’s later works, which include screenplays ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Seven Psychopaths’. Of this razor-sharp mix of comedy and cruelty, so wittingly portrayed in The Beauty Queen, McDonagh says “I suppose I walk that line between comedy and cruelty because I think one illuminates the other. We're all cruel, aren't we? We are all extreme in one way or another at times and that's what drama, since the Greeks, has dealt with. I hope the overall view isn't just that though, or I've failed in my writing. There have to be moments when you glimpse something decent, something life-affirming even in the most twisted character. That's where the real art lies.”
The four local actors of the cast expertly bring this gem of a script to life, turning from the comic, the longing and the doolally at the drop of a hat, emoting laughter, tears or gasps of horror from a watching audience, as can only be expected from a McDonagh.