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Sidekick staging play that could make audiences uncomfortable

Sidekick Players continues its 23 rd season with the opening of The Beauty Queen of Leenane next week at the Tsawwassen Arts Centre.
Sidekick Players presents The Beauty Queen of Leenane starting Jan. 16 at the Tsawwassen Arts Centre.

Sidekick Players continues its 23rd season with the opening of The Beauty Queen of Leenane next week at the Tsawwassen Arts Centre.

Written by Martin McDonagh, the play is set in Leenane, in Western Ireland, and centres on Maureen, an unmarried woman in her early 40s who cares for her ailing mother, Mag. The two share a turbulent and unhealthy relationship as Mag taunts and insults her daughter, while Maureen blames her mother for her unhappiness. There is a twist at the end.

Directed by Carroll Lefebvre, the cast includes: Emily Greene as Maureen, Brenda DeJong and Mag, Scott Wood as Pato Dooley and Todd-Elliot Gates as Ray Dooley.

Lefebvre describes the play as a “dark comic tale.”

“It’s a hard play – a real challenge. I’m only directing one production this season, so I really wanted something that I could sink my teeth into,” she said.

Lefebvre said the play does have some language and offensive lines and certainly is a production for a mature audience.

“We have been gradually inching to our audiences these kinds of plays and so far we have not had any complaints,” she said. “We want to bring something else and this is what this play does. It has an edge. You are either going to love it or hate it.”

Lefebvre is also excited to bring McDonagh’s work to life.

“He wrote Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri so he is a younger playwright, but everything he touches turns to gold, so we’re excited,” Lefebvre said. “At first I wondered whether I could even cast this, but they all came out. It’s a play that you really don’t want to see, but you should. It makes people uncomfortable at times. There are parts that are funny, parts that will make you cringe. I hope our audience likes it. It’s a play that you just don’t sit and watch, it’s a play that you should get immersed in.”

Sidekick Players offers quality and affordable community theatre in bistro-style seating at the arts centre. You can watch the play while sipping a glass of wine or other beverage and nibble on a snack from the concession stand.

The play runs from Jan. 16 to Feb. 1. Performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on Jan. 19 and 26. Reserve tickets by calling 604-288-2415.