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.

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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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