Young Vic revives McDonagh’s Leenane

Published March 25, 2010

The first major revival of Martin McDonagh’s award-winning play The Beauty Queen Of Leenane will play at the Young Vic from 15 July to 21 August (press night 21 July).

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane is a darkly comic take on rural Ireland which tells of the relationship between lonely spinster Maureen and her devilishly manipulative mother Mag.

For its 1996 premiere at the Royal Court, McDonagh’s play collected the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Play and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. It transferred to Broadway in 1998 where it won the Tony Award for Best Play.

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane is the first in a trilogy of plays which also includes A Skull In Connemara and The Lonesome West. McDonagh’s other works include the Laurence Olivier Award-winning The Pillowman and The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, while his latest, A Behanding In Spokane, opened last month on Broadway. His debut film, In Bruges, which he both wrote and directed, won him a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay in 2008.

Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the Young Vic to direct The Beauty Queen Of Leenane after previously directing The Girlfriend Experience and A Respectable Wedding there. The production is designed by Ultz, who last Sunday won a Laurence Olivier Award for Jerusalem.

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane continues the season in the Young Vic’s Main House, following the current production of Sweet Nothings, Elegy For Young Lovers and Joe Turner’s Come And Gone.

New to the season in the Maria theatre is No Idea, in which Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence team up with theatre company Improbable to create a piece of theatre about people’s attitudes to disability. After taking to the streets to record people’s reactions to them, the duo – one disabled, one able-bodied – have used verbatim theatre, comedy, song and dance to recreate their encounters in this new show.

No Idea plays in the Maria from 21 to 31 July (press night 22 July), following the return of Kursk, Sara Ruhl’s Eurydice and Carrie Cracknell’s experimental version of Elektra, a free but ticketed event.

CB