The Beauty Queen of Leenane – Druid

16 March 2017, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

DRUID @ THE GAIETY THEATRE DUBLIN: The Beauty Queen of Leenane, October 2016It’s interesting what you remember. I first watched this play back in 2010. It was actually the very first show I worked on at the Young Vic so I even studied the script and spent months working on it. I remember loving it, I remember that the play was ingenious and that this one scene was incredibly vivid and horrific… one of the best done scenes in theatre. But I forgot that this play is actually really really funny! After this experience, I realised I don’t really retain much about plays… sometimes I will come out thinking my gosh, that was so brilliant… but a few years down the line, I won’t even be able to recall much of the plot details. I do remember set designs though… and I usually remember dance performances quite vividly. So maybe I’m a more visual person. Hm. Well I guess it’s good then that I keep this blog! 😀

Loved the dark humour. Intrigued by the ever interchangeable victim/target/bully roles. Hammered in the idea that children are a product and inevitable mirror of their parents. And after the show, we were discussing the ending of the play and suddenly I thought, my gosh, have I misinterpreted the play all these years? Although we eventually deduced that my understanding is what the author intended for, that sudden realisation made me treasure even more the fact that everyone consumes media, messages and morals in a different way. Art is always open for interpretation.

imageI was wowed by the fact that the mother was played by Marie Mullen who originally played the daughter role 20 years ago (even winning a Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance). It’s incredible she’s able to come back to the the piece and attack it from a different perspective. She really was so brilliant. I also thought that Aaron Monagha as Ray Dooley was fantastic. They really delivered their highly excruciating exasperating characters in such a way… you would be cheering them on, willing them to drive each other crazy, whilst also wincing in your seat. Brilliantly funny.

I think that the only disappointment was in the set – again like in Dream of the Red Chamber, an under/mis-used video projection. And even though I really really really tried hard not to compare… can’t.. help.. it…. the climatic scene wasn’t done as well as the one Young Vic presented. 😬 But what a treat the evening was. Hope to watch this play again in the future. And maybe one day I’ll be much better at understanding Irish accents!


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