The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Gaiety Theatre
To mark the twentieth anniversary of its debut, Druid theatre company will stage Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Gaiety Theatre from 18 to 29 October. The first in McDonagh’s Leenane Trilogy, the play was a resounding success during its initial run, transferring to the West End and Broadway and winning several Tony Awards. Now a new production is set for the irish and international stage, with a stellar cast including Marie Mullen, Aisling O’Sullivan, Marty Rea and Aaron Monaghan, directed by Garry Hynes.
Set in the mountains of Connemara, the play tells the story of Maureen Folan – a lonely spinster in her early 40s – who lives with her aging, manipulative mother Mag. Maureen’s mother’s interference in her first and possibly last romance sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.
Debuting in Galway in 1996 The Beauty Queen of Leenane quickly became one of the most successful Irish plays of recent times, winning audiences over throughout the world and becoming the toast of the New York theatre scene.
“It’s thrilling to bring The Beauty Queen to life again, two decades on,” said Garry Hynes. “The first outing of the production in 1996 took the world by storm and was a real whirlwind for Druid. Our audiences still speak about that experience. We’re really looking forward to revisiting it with them and having a new generation experience the production for the first time.”
A founding member of Druid, Hynes has directed many of their productions, including Waiting for Godot, Big Maggie, DruidShakespeare, The Cripple of Inishmaan and DruidSynge. In 1998 she became the first woman to ever win the Tony Award for Best Direction for The Beauty Queen of Leenane.
Marie Mullen received a Tony Award the same year for her role as Maureen in the original production and now returns twenty years later, this time taking on the role of Maureen’s mother, Mag. Mullen is also a founding member and has received numerous awards and critical acclaim for her roles in Druid productions, including Long Day’s Journey Into Night and DruidSynge.
Aisling O’Sullivan will play Maureen. Widely acclaimed for her recent performance in Big Maggie, O’Sullivan has a host of film, television and theatre credits to her name. She has appeared on RTE’s The Clinic and Raw, as well as in Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter. She has also appeared in The Playboy of the Western World at the Almeida Theatre in London, The Duchess of Malfi at the Barbican Theatre, Marble, Lay Me Down Softly, The Cavalcaders and Famine in the Abbey Theatre.
Most recently seen in the much-lauded Waiting for Godot on its Irish tour this summer, Aaron Monaghan and Marty Rea complete this fantastic quartet of players. Rea scooped the Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard II in DruidShakespeare last year, while Aaron is no stranger to the Druid stage, having won several awards for his role as Cripple Billy in Druid’s The Cripple of Inishmaan.
Having won worldwide acclaim on its initial run, The Beauty Queen of Leenane looks set to be equally successful this time around, in the hands of a multi-award winning team. The production is set to embark on a coast to coast US tour and play at the prestigious Hong Kong Arts Festival but first it will wow audiences in the Gaiety Theatre. Make sure you book your tickets early as demand is sure to be high for this very special production.