Beauty Queen Comes to Borrisokane

The cast LtoR - Pat Fox, Mary Donnely, Dermot McDermatt and Phil Quigely.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the latest offering from the Borrisokane Players, and will be presented from March 10th to March 13th in the refurbished Clarke Hall. This is an adventurous undertaking for the group, as this Martin McDonagh play is an intense and challenging project indeed. It is part of his trilogy, the other two being A Skull in Connemara, and the The Lonesome West. It has been performed all over the world from London’s West End to Broadway, and as far as Lima, in Peru.

The play is a blend of black comedy, melodrama, horror and bleak tragedy. The story is set in an Irish village Leenane, Connemara in the early 1990s. The entire play takes place in a shabby, poorly lit kitchen, resulting in a claustrophobic sense of entrapment.

The play centers on the life of Maureen Folan, a 40-year-old spinster who takes care of her 70 year-old, selfish and manipulative mother Mag. Sisters of Maureen 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.

Mary Donnely and Phil Quielgy.

During  the play, the Folan cottage is visited by Pato Dooley and his younger brother Ray. Pato may be Maureen’s last chance of romance, but will her mother continue to prove to be an obstacle? This is a drama of deceptions, betrayals and secrets, and keeps presenting us with surprises.

Although full of quite funny humour, things are not always what they seem, and one can read into the dialogue at an early stage that this is in fact a very dark play. Parents are advised that it is not suitable for young children and should use their own discretion.  However this should not take away from the fact that this Borrisokane Players production is a very powerful play, always intriguing, and definitely one not to be missed.

It boasts a very strong cast, and a sneak preview has whetted the appetite for opening night! Maureen is played by Mary Donnelly, certainly no stranger to the stage. Ray is played by Pat Fox, Pato by Dermott McDermott in his first role with the players, and Phil Quigley is welcomed back to the group, playing the role of Mag. Phil bring a wealth of skill and experience to this production, and all 4 actors are working so well together. Rehearsing practically every night there is an intensity and commitment that is certain to make this production one not to be missed, from March 10th to 13th.

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