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Posted by : Jan_Pick on Nov 22, 2009 - 01:52 AM Archive

by Martin McDonagh.

London Classic Theatre Company Tour to 28 November 2009.
Runs 2hr One interval.
Review: Jan Pick 17 November at Belgrade Theatre Coventry.

An Irish Beauty.

This beautifully written, darkly comic, but ultimately tragic play by Martin McDonagh is set in rural Ireland in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway. It is a sympathetic exploration of the tense relationship of Maureen Folan, and Mag, her ageing mother. Maureen, a plain, frustrated spinster, sees life and experience passing her by as she struggles to look after a mother who is demanding, difficult and manipulative. As Maureen reaches out in her last chance to find freedom and happiness the dark shades of tragedy gather.

Most of the action takes place in Maureen and Mag’s kitchen, and the set design, sound and lighting all help to recreate an authentic atmosphere of this traditional heart of a rural Irish home. The cast of four are all excellent, but especially Carole Dance as Mag, a mother fearful of being put in a home, desperate to keep her daughter by her side waiting on her hand and foot. And Alice Selwyn as Maureen, equally desperate to escape the confines of her grey and drudgery-filled existence. Welcome comic relief is provided by Alan DeVally as the naïve Ray Dooley, while Steve Dineen gives a sensitive performance as Pato Dooley, the man who could make Maureen’s dreams come true.

Martin McDonagh’s play powerfully evokes the closed rural community of Ireland in the late 1980s with all its lingering prejudices and ignorance, touching delicately on the conflicts of patriotism and pragmatism, being shot through with the wry humour of its inhabitants. Given Michael Cabot's finely crafted production for London Classic Theatre Company, it makes a comic, macabre and, ultimately, deeply disturbing evening.

Mag Folan: Carole Dance.
Maureen Folan: Alice Selwyn.
Ray Dooley: Alan DeVally.
Pato Dooley: Steve Dineen.

Director: Michael Cabot.
Designer: Kerry Bradley.
Lighting: Joe Vose.
Costume: Katja Krzesinska.
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