Romantic Comedy and the Dark Moment

PINK HEART SOCIETY COLUMN

Back in the day, I wanted to be a stage actor, so I’ve seen a lot of theatre in my time. But of all those plays, the one performance I will always remember is the Sydney Theatre Company's production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Irish playwright Patrick McDonagh, which starred the fabulous Pamela Rabe and Maggie Kirkpatrick.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a black comedy about an elderly mother and her ‘spinster’ daughter, who live together in a remote Connemara village. And yes, it is funny. And it is most definitely black.

I remember sitting in the dark with my husband, the Hon, initially just thrilled to be there, as I always am in a theatre...and then laughing out loud as the relationship between the mother and daughter unfolded in a series of hilariously toxic quips and stings…and then, in one brutally unexpected moment, a dark malevolence permeated the stage with one action, and suddenly I wasn't laughing any more.

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