Friday, February 25, 2011

My Night at the Theatre

"Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go by any rules. They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

This past Wednesday, I went to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Neptune Theatre. Written by Martin McDonagh and directed by Rosemary Dunsmore, this play delivers everything you could want. It’s a strangely twisted gem, blending comedy and drama in such a way that one moment you are laughing out loud, and the next you are gasping in horror and shock. Either way, both ends of the spectrum keep you riveted to the players on the stage.

Set in a small village in County Galway, Ireland, Maureen Folan (Laura deCarteret) - a bonafide 40 year old virgin, lives in a sparse little cottage with her mother Mag (Mary Colin Chisholm), a relentless harpy of an old woman. Maureen has been trapped playing caregiver for the past 20 years and as the play goes on, seeds of why that is are sown.

The two women share a completely dysfunctional relationship and it is clear Maureen wishes she could escape, but seems unable to do so. At least until a hint of romance begins with Pato Dooly (Hugh Thompson), a man from town who is bitter about having to constantly move away to England to work. It is his younger brother, Ray (played hilariously by Ryan Bondy), who delivers much of the comic relief, acting as messenger for his brother. And it is these messages that ultimately lead to tragedy and betrayal.

I don’t want to say too much about what the tragedy is or how it comes about; the not knowing is what keeps you perched on the edge of your seat. But I will say this, if you are in the area, buy a ticket and treat yourself to the experience. You won’t regret it. And if you are not in the area, and this play comes to your town, make sure you take the opportunity to check it out.

And that was my night at the theatre.


Julia Smith said...

Great review, Kelly - I looked for you but didn't find you. So I'm glad you got a chance to see it.

The humour is so dark, it's delicious! And the dramatic elements are just as dark. What a fine balance between the two. I really enjoyed the performance, especially the younger brother's. He was perfect.

Tess said...

Sounds like a great play...would love to see it, but... *g* a little far for me to go!

Jennie Marsland said...

Sounds like a great play, very intense.

Pamela Callow said...

Excellent review, Kelly. Sounds like the balance between humour and suspense was artfully achieved! Glad you enjoyed it.


Melissa Marsh said...

It sounds marvelous! I haven't been to a play in AGES...I need to remedy that soon!

Kim H. said...

It was a great play. I felt stunned at the darkeness of some of it and did a lot of thinking about it after it was over.The younger brother was very good as were all the characters.I especially liked the special way of swearing!