The Beauty Queen of Leenane

February 10th, 2015 by admin



Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the twisted, darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a lonely woman in her early forties, trapped in a life of groveling servitude by her aging, cantankerous mother. When Maureen finds an opportunity to escape into the arms of Pato Dooley, a local construction worker with a big heart and open arms, she rediscovers love and begins to dream of the possibility of a new life for herself. Her mother has other ideas, however, and her interference sets in motion a chain of deceptions and betrayals, heart-breaking tragedy, and savage ironyall of which lead inevitably to the play’s bizarre, terrifying conclusion.

The first act will leave you giddy with laughter; the second will wipe the smile right off your face.

Margalit Cicurel’s Testimonial

If you’ve ever thought, “Yeah, I know, I should support Bare Bones, but I think I’ll wait for something light and funny because I’m just not in the mood for serious, or depressing,” then you need to listen carefully. Because that’s really how I felt about The Beauty Queen of Leenane, but I went anyway. And I am so very glad that I did.

I have seen a lot of theater in a lot of venues around the world, and I can say without reservation that what I saw last night was right up there with the best of them. The performances, the direction, the set, the props, the sound, and the lights, and even the running crew: all the elements of theater come together into what I think is the best thing Bare Bones has done yet. You would be cheating yourself if you missed this.

Sean King gives a beautiful performance as a passionate man eager to start a new life wherever he can find it; Jim Staehlin makes you laugh and cringe as the no-account brother who is happy to while away his life in the pub, or staring at “the telly”; Deb Starker strikes a perfect balance between vulnerability and menace as the mother who snuffs the flame of her own daughter’s life through neediness and jealousy; and Linda May tears your heart out as the daughter who has given everything to care for her mother. All four performances are honest and deeply believable, and together with the set and music make you feel as if you’ve been transported to another world for two hours. What more can you ask of theater?

Yes, it’s a serious play with depressing undertones, but thanks to the art and skill of director Jeff Bennett this cast did an amazing job of balancing that with humor, love, and hope. You will be touched, you will feel for these characters, you’ll be carried away, and you won’t be able to stop talking about the play. Plan on a drink at Main Street or something after, because you won’t want to just go home and flip on the TV.

Please, please … do yourself a favor and come out for this show. You will NOT regret it.

Margalit Cicurel

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