Coming soon... but what should I see?
October is Hamlet month

Beauty Queen of Leenane - contender for favourite play of the year

26053a This is one of those hidden gems that I wouldn't have normally thought to see if it hadn't been for a very special deal on the tickets (£10 tickets still available for previews including press night next week, snap 'em up I say).

It's set in rural Ireland, in a stone cottage, where put-upon 40-year old spinster Maureen (Susan Lynch) is caring for her needy and manipulative mother Mag (Rosaleen Linehan).

"I can't see how a urine infection prevents you pouring a cup of Complan or tidying up the house a bit when I'm away. It wouldn't kill you."

Maureen would love to escape, indeed she dreams of escaping and an invite to a party and subsequent romantic liaison with Pato Dooley (David Ganly) gives her a glimmer of hope. But who will stir the lumps out of Mag's Complan?

The Young Vic has done a great job with the staging almost encasing the audience in the frequently rain-soaked cottage with Maureen and Mag (yes with real water) so that you feel holed-up mother and daughter. That, combined with the rippling wit in the script and acting (Linehan proves a master of comedy with a perfectly-timed raise of the eye brow or look) quite simply had us all hooked.

It's been a long time since I've seen a play where the audience has been so engaged the reaction has been quite so palpable: Sharp intakes of breath, muttering under breath as events twisted and turned and so much spontaneous applause.

But it wasn't just that Martin McDonagh's play had everyone laughing and on the edge of their seats, it was also that it is one of those plays with a denouement that challenges what you thought you saw. A denouement that makes you think about it long after you've left the theatre and got the bus home.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is exactly what I go to the theatre for. It is both entertaining and thought provoking and you get to share the experiences with hundreds of others.

No professional reviews as yet because it's still in preview will post some as and when they appear.

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