THE CAST Conor O’Neill, Regina McCormack, Colette McGinty and Ciarán MacSuibhne.
McDonagh’s modern classic comes to Westport
St Patrick’s Drama Group is staging Martin McDonnagh’s acclaimed 1996 play ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ in Westport Town Hall Theatre over four nights, starting tonight (Tuesday), April 23 and finishing this Friday, April 26.
‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ tells the story of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely spinster in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother. Mag’s interference in Maureen’s first and potentially last romantic relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.
Mary Carr directs the Westport production, which is produced by Marion Moran, with set design Paul Dunning. Mary joined St Patrick’s Drama Group in 1976, when she moved to Westport. Apart from great stage performances, Mary has become a hugely accomplished director, staging over 20 plays with the group, including ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Semi Private’, ‘Sive’ , ‘Same Old Moon’, ‘Drama at Inish’, ‘The Loves of Cass McGuire’, ‘Lovers’, ‘Them’, ‘Stolen Child’, ‘Anyone can Rob a Bank’ and ‘Funny Money’.
Mary is very proud to now be directing Martin McDonagh’s iconic play, which won four Tony awards with The Druid Theatre and has enjoyed huge success in the West End, Broadway and around the world.
St Patrick’s Drama Group always likes to encourage new actors, and for this play, the group is delighted to welcome Colette McGinty, who plays the part of Maureen. No stranger to the stage, Colette has been involved in many productions with Castlebar Music and Dramatic Society, and she has also taken part in musicals in both Ballinrobe and Westport.
Conor O’Neill joined the group in 2018 and has been a very busy actor since, on stage in both ‘Funny Money’ and ‘Drinking Habits 2’. Now he takes on the role of Ray. A neighbour who thinks he knows a lot about life and can’t wait to get out of Connemara. Ray is both impatient and humorous, bringing some sunshine into the darkness.
Ciarán MacSuibhne, who plays Pato, has graced the stage many times, playing strong roles in ‘Anyone can Rob a Bank’, ‘That Christmas Spirit’, ‘Widow’s Paradise’, ‘Attaboy’, ‘Mr Singh’, ‘Heatstroke’, ‘Same Old Moon’, ‘Sive’ and ‘Funny Money’. Also a playwright, his play ‘Makem and Clancy’ was staged by St Patrick’s Drama Group in 2010 to huge acclaim, while another of his works ‘Major John MacBride’ drew praise far and wide. This is Ciarán’s second time acting in one of Martin McDonagh’s plays; he played the part of Babbybobby Bennett in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’.
Lastly, Regina McCormack, who plays Mag, joined St Patrick’s 18 years ago and has been involved in all aspects of the group, from acting to backstage management. She has produced three plays, worked as group PRO, and she is the group’s current chairperson. Regina’s first performance was in ‘Steel Magnolias’, under the watchful eye of the late Martin Curry. She has also starred in ‘A Wake in The West’, ‘The Country Boy’, ‘Widows Paradise’, ‘Attaboy’, ‘Mr Synge’, ‘Pretend Sick’ and ‘Funny Money’.
For tickets to The Beauty Queen of Leenane in Westport Town Hall Theatre, call 098 28459 or visit www.westporttheatre.com.