Already closed | 2h 20m | Brooklyn

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

From 105 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Funny

About the show

Irish theater company Druid makes its BAM debut with a 20th-anniversary revival of Martin McDonagh’s Tony-nominated pitch-black comedy about a very dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. More…

The first in McDonagh's trilogy of plays set in the sodden Irish backwater of Leenane, 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' tells the story of 40-year-old spinster Maureen Folan, who lives with her mother Mag in a dreamless hovel. The two trade insults and injuries in a vicious cycle of loveless care-taking until a glimmer of romance for Maureen sets in motion a chain of events as hilarious as it is terrifying. Druid co-founder Marie Mullen—who won a Tony for her performance as Maureen in the original Broadway mounting—ages into the fearsome role of Mag under the direction of co-founder and artistic director Garry Hynes, who also won a Tony for helming that production.

Member Reviews (105)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Funny
Avg Score

Great writing, Quirky, Intense

See it if you like dark comedy.

Don't see it if you haven't seen the play before. This production shows its hand too early for a lot of the twists and turns.

Dark, Hilarious, Terrifying, Great acting, Profound

See it if You like dark humor and you have an appreciation for subtle drama.

Don't see it if You have a hard time with heavy (but accurate) accents.

Funny, Disappointing, Great writing, Quirky

See it if like Martin McDonagh. This is one of his best.

Don't see it if you don't care for dark comedies.

Absorbing, Hilarious, Intense

See it if you love your humor dark. A very bleak and funny look at lives twisted and broken by poverty and dependence.

Don't see it if you don't like Irish theater.

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you want to see a classic black comedy redone extremely well; you can find humor in the darkness of humanity

Don't see it if you need your humor to be light; you don't enjoy small, nuanced projections

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Profound, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You are a Martin McDonagh fan and appreciate great acting.

Don't see it if You aren't willing to travel to BAM or you can't afford orchestra seats. Hard to understand the Irish accents from the balcony.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if you're interested in a dark Irish play that has humor but is heartbreaking.

Don't see it if you have problems with Irish accents

Also I think the Atlantic Theater Company production 20 years ago packed mo... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Masterful, Intense, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you are up for an intense play that will take you for a ride of the worst of the human being condition... appropriate for these times!

Don't see it if you are looking for a light show during these dark times... not a feel good play. It will haunt you for some time.

Clever, Dated, Edgy, Great staging, Intense

See it if You want to see one for the great world theater companies do one of their core texts, and esp. to see Marie Mullen's take on the material.

Don't see it if You don't want a very orthodox take on McDonagh's specific form of heightened black comedy (in and of itself, a commentary on Irish drama).

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if you enjoy tragicomedies with great acting and ironic writing. The cast is simply superb

Don't see it if you have no sense of humour and you take things at face value. The play is uncomfortably real and nuanced

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you enjoy honest story telling with real, human reactions. And, not disappointed with the outcome!

Don't see it if heavy brogue makes it difficult to comprehend, and having to rely on interaction between characters.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You like dark comedies. If you saw the original production it's a great revisit as Maureen Mullen now plays the mother.

Don't see it if You have a problem with understanding certain Irish dialects or you can't climb the mountainous steps at BAM if you're in the balcony.

Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Excruciating, Dark

See it if you appreciate a very dark comedy and truly exemplary writing and acting.

Don't see it if have trouble understanding Irish accent or can't live without a happy ending.

Also As excruciating as it was hilarious, it is an amazing piece of theater... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you have a taste for very black comedy, superlative acting, and penetrating writing about the destructive nature of stagnation.

Don't see it if you don't want to listen very carefully. This one requires full attention.

Great acting, Great writing, Dark, Riveting, Funny

See it if you enjoy a dark dramedy, a psychological drama, and good acting.

Don't see it if you don't like a slow show, you can't understand Irish accents, or if you loved the original version of 20 years ago.

Also The wide, open set seemed to let a little of the drama out - the origi... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Must see, Great staging

See it if If you're interested in seeing master-class acting; a not-to-be-missed plot twist. Or If you don't mind seeing a dysfunctional family play.

Don't see it if If you might have trouble sitting through a two-hours and fifteen minute four- character play where the actors all have heavy Irish accents.

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if you are a fan of strong Irish theater. Extra benefit - you can now see the original daughter as the mother.

Don't see it if you do not want to see an intense performance that makes you think and forces you to listen to Irish dialects

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You enjoy dark, dark comedy. This is typical McDonagh-- funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. The actors are amazingly specific.

Don't see it if Your ears are lazy and you don't want to have to decipher heavy Irish accents. Family violence, abuse, and in-fighting turns your stomach.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Riveting

See it if you like McDonagh or Nasty People Yelling At Each Other Nastily plays (you know the type)

Don't see it if you're squeamish; there are only balcony seats available in the Harvey (those are the worst seats in the world, this is not worth the pain.)

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if You like having to hold your breath from suspense.

Don't see it if You have a hard time with Irish accents.

Great acting, Edgy, Funny, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy dark humor and if you are patient with broad accents and stagy Irish characters

Don't see it if You are squeamish or if the Quiet Man is your favorite movie

Near-perfect, Extraordinary storytelling, Well-developed characters, Must see, Great writing

See it if you love seeing a contemporary classic well-made play in top form.

Don't see it if a little bit of nastiness is a turnoff.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Intense

See it if You enjoy remarkable acting/character pieces

Don't see it if You're looking for a fast-paced or feel-good show

Great acting, Funny, Dark, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you're a fan of dark comedy or Irish plays, this is a rare treat to see a McDonagh classic by the original company and director.

Don't see it if It's played a bit broad due to the size of the theater but us in the nosebleeds appreciate. It's dark, don't be fooled by the rural setting.

Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Riveting mother daughter dysfunctional Relationship desperation that sets in

Don't see it if If you are looking for an uplifting theater experience

January 15th, 2017
"The four characters are more overtly comic than they were before...They’re more companionable than they used to be. That means they’re also less likely to creep into your nightmares and break your heart...You’re more aware of the jokes as jokes, and also of the dramatist’s calculations behind th...
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January 14th, 2017
“A solidly entertaining revival. Notable among the cast is Mullen, the original Maureen, now old enough to play the wheedling, malingering Mag. Mullen makes a full meal of her role, which, perversely, grows more pathetic the meaner she gets...With these vibrant, lusty performers at the controls, ...
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January 15th, 2017
"'Beauty Queen' may be funny in the way a YouTube video of a man diving into a frozen pool can be, but it’s no comedy. Rather, it exists somewhat beyond our traditional genre definitions, encompassing many of them...For all its laughs it’s also a tragedy, in which even the satisfaction of Maureen...
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January 14th, 2017
"Nearly two decades since its Broadway debut, Martin McDonagh’s breakthough play retains the power to tickle the funny bone and turn the stomach...The cast grips all of the darkly amusing and dangerous curves in his unflinching story. The riveting Aisling O’Sullivan shades her star turn as the de...
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