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Overview

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE | Watch trailer
By Martin McDonagh | Directed by Mark Jackson
Featuring Joy Carlin, Rod Gnapp, Joseph Salazar and Beth Wilmurt

“Joy Carlin as Mag is the epitome of theatrical delight [and] Maureen [is] played with sinewy gusto by Beth Wilmurt… These marvelous actors create a finely detailed portrait of a mother and daughter that is so fraught, you flinch and still you can’t turn away. McDonagh’s play is a soundly constructed dramatic work that puts on a good show, involves its audience and delivers something with heft and abundant laughs. It’s hard to ask for much more from a two-hour evening of theater.”– TheaterDogs

Middle-aged, unmarried and embittered, Maureen is locked in a stalemate with her elderly mother Mag, who is as selfish as she is manipulative. Their simmering relationship boils over when Maureen takes a lover and finds hope for escape. “Perhaps the best Irish play of the last 20 years” (Chicago Tribune), this was the break out hit by the then 25-year-old Irish writer Martin McDonagh , now known for his plays A Skull in Connemara (1997), The Lonesome West (1997), The Cripple of Inishmaan (1997), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001), The Pillowman (2003) and A Behanding in Spokane (2010), as well as the films In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012).

LENGTH OF SHOW
Two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

PRAISE FOR THE PRODUCTION
POLITE APPLAUSE “Savagely comic; scarifying but moving.” – SF Chronicle
FOUR STARS “Often hilarious; puts you through the emotional wringer before it’s through.” – Marin IJ
“Explosive, funny… It is a stunning play in a stunning production.” – Mill Valley Patch
“Riveting; spellbinding.” – San Francisco Examiner
“Deranged, brilliant; Acting was excellent… I give the production an A-.” – AnnCaviness.wordpress.com

IN THE NEWS
SF Weekly interview with actors Joy Carlin and Beth Wilmurt
Theatre Bay Area magazine Editors’ Pick

Features the MTC debut of director Mark Jackson, who was named the San Francisco Chronicle‘s MVP of 2012 Bay Area theater –  “Every show is exhilarating in its intellectual challenges, sharp visual images and expressive physical acting, and every year at least one of his shows makes my Top 20 list.” Also named best director in 2009 and 2004 by East Bay Express, best theatrical auteur in 2007 by SF Weekly and among the top 100 Bay Area artists in 2002 by San Francisco Magazine, Mark’s directorial work was most recently seen at Aurora Theatre Company in The Arsonists and at Shotgun Players in Woyzeck.

AWARDS FOR THE PLAY
1998 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play
1998 Drama League Award for Best Play
1998 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play
Nominated for 1998 Tony Award for Best Play

PRAISE FOR THE PLAY
“Gloriously funny; wickedly amusing… an unalloyed delight” – The Telegraph
“A marvelous play” – The Times
“Has the audience gasping with surprise (and sometimes horror) between bursts of laughter” – Herald
“Hilarious, dark and utterly brutal” – Evening Standard
“What you notice about the audience is how ­vocal it is. No surprise that people laugh at the jokes, of course. Martin ­McDonagh’s writing sparkles with ­deadpan irony… Less expected is the reaction to the story itself. More than once the plot twists produce gasps from the stalls” – The Guardian

“With [Martin McDonagh’s] venom-tipped sarcasm, disorienting plot twists and characters that are simultaneously endearing and repulsive, he was seeking nothing less than to break the back of a convention-driven Irish staple, the kitchen sink drama… That audiences are devouring Mr. McDonagh’s unsettling tale, as close to a page turner in three dimensions as the theater gets these days, is a tribute to the writer’s precocious gifts… Engaging in one of the most harrowing generational standoffs, Maureen and Mag are, of course, stock characters out of the kitchen sink genre; but Mr. McDonagh twists the audience’s expectations with these instantly recognizable types, giving ‘Beauty Queen’ its unnerving power. Every time you think you have a handle on these women, the playwright throws a curve.” – The New York Times

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* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association