The Beauty Queen of Leenane at St Albans’ Abbey Theatre

SOME adult content makes the Company of Ten’s next production strictly one for the grown-ups.

Written by eminent contemporary play and screen writer Martin McDonagh, The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a blackly tragic comedy straining to do things the Quentin Tarantino way.

Maureen is a middle-aged spinster living with her manipulative mother, Mag, in a tiny cottage outside the village of Leenane in a remote area of Connemara. Both are trapped in their disturbingly dysfunctional relationship.When local builder and old flame Pato Dooley returns for a family celebration, the lonely life he leads while living in digs in England makes him yearn for a stable relationship. But could he find it with Maureen and will Mag allow her daughter to find happiness at last?

A combination of brittle comedy and pitch-black tragedy, the play moves to a strong climax.

Martin McDonagh is perhaps best known for his 2008 Oscar-nominated film In Bruges, about two hit men hiding out in the city. The Company of Ten production of what is one of his earliest plays coincides with the release of his latest film Seven Psychopaths,

Director Liisa Smith said: “I seem to be drawn to the Irish sense of humour, the musicality of language, and the angst that echoes through it. The playwright Martin McDonagh is masterful in his craft. He actually set out to write a distinctly non-Irish play and smash through the stereotypical image of mythical Ireland. But for all his attempts he has actually captured the essence of Ireland and its people perfectly.”

Performances run from next Friday, October 12, to October 20 at the Abbey Theatre.

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To book tickets go to or alternatively call the box office on 01727 857861.