Past Event

Feb 06—26, 2017

The Beauty Queen of Leenane


“STUNNING. McDonagh has a master’s hand at building up and subverting expectations in a cat-and-mouse game with the audience. You begin to feel nourished in ways you had forgotten were possible.”

— The New York Times

Mother-Daughter dysfunction was never so thrilling. Or chilling.

In a small house in the mountains of Ireland, a lonely spinster locks horns with her house-bound, manipulative mother in a rage-filled battle of the wills. Written by Ireland’s most important, contemporary playwright – Martin McDonagh’s (The PillowmanThe Cripple of Inishmaan) – The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a subversive thriller that takes audiences through the twists and turns of the ultimate dysfunctional relationship, revealing what can happen when family ties go too far…way too far.

Twenty years ago, the Druid Theatre Company’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane rocked America and Broadway; the show was nominated for six Tony Awards®, winning four. Druid returns with Tony Award® winning director, Garry Hynes’s remount of this spectacular production. Marie Mullen, who won the Tony for her performance as the daughter, returns this time in the role of the mother, while Aisling O’Sullivan takes the role of the daughter. Once again, audiences will have the opportunity to experience this masterful play.



Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
559 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111


Feb 06, 2017 - Feb 26, 2017


2 hours 17 minutes including one intermission

18+ Mature Themes


Audio Described Performance
Sat, Feb 18 2:00 pm

Pre-Show Touch Tour
Sat, Feb 18 12:30 pm

American Sign Language Performance
Sun, Feb 19 2:00 pm


Presented By:

Druid Theatre Company

Druid was founded in Galway in 1975 by graduates of the National University of Ireland, Galway, Garry Hynes, Mick Lally (1945 – 2010) and Marie Mullen – the first professional theatre company in Ireland to be based outside Dublin. The company has had two artistic directors: Garry Hynes (1975–91 and 1995 to date) and Maelíosa Stafford (1991–94).

Druid has always seen itself as a theatre for Ireland and since its foundation has been at the forefront of the development of Irish theatre. Touring the length and breadth of Ireland is an essential part of the company’s mission and Druid passionately believes that audiences have a right to see first class professional theatre without having to travel long distances outside their own communities. The company has toured to every nook and cranny in Ireland as well as touring to key global centres around the world including UK, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, making Druid one of the best-known Irish theatre companies in the English-speaking world.

Since 1979, the company has had its own theatre on Druid Lane in Galway. The theatre is the birthplace of all the work and continues to serve as a facility for the promotion and development of the arts in Galway.


Martin McDonagh

Directed by:

Garry Hynes


Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Marty Rea and Aisling O'Sullivan

Sponsored By:
Druid logo - color version
Arts Council Logo

Here All Night and Hello, Sam Redux 2016 are supported by Culture Ireland as part of the 1916-2016 Cultural Commemorations of the Easter Rising which led to Irish independence.



“Director, Garry Hynes, who demonstrates a knack for artfully keeping the audience off-balance and on edge.”

“Mullen and O’Sullivan make a superb team.”

The Boston Globe

“Brilliant and absorbing and it will unnerve you.”


“’Beauty Queen’ revival is one mother of a show”


“Under Hynes’s expert direction, Mullen’s Mag is more mobile, spilling her persistent menace on everyone and everything in her path.”

The Metrowest Daily News

“brilliant production”

“the direction by Tony winner Garry Hynes is just as brilliant as the acting.”

On Boston Stages

“Hilarious and heartbreaking”

“The Druid Theatre Company staging shows what amazing things happens when a group of artists work together fully and completely in the service of telling a powerful story”

Art Fuse

“A Tragicomic Masterpiece”

“Playwright Martin McDonagh is a master storyteller, and not a single line of dialogue is wasted, no matter how seemingly trivial.”

“The cast is extraordinary”

Theater Mirror

“This type of high wire act can only be accomplished with top notch acting and Druid gives it to us in spades.”

An “all-out battle of wits”

Boston Edge Media Network

“A must-see for theater geeks”

The New York Times

“The acting is so elegant…[but] we are hit hardest by moments of hope, longing, dreaminess, and beauty.”

Vogue Magazine

“Boston should welcome McDonagh and this production of his dark comedy with open arms.”

“The existential stakes are high for everyone, characters and audiences alike.”

“It’s A ‘Beauty’ — Martin McDonagh Takes Ireland To Task With A Scabrous Sense Of Humor”

WBUR: The Artery

“It is difficult to separately describe the performances of Mullen and O’Sullivan because they are so totally connected to their roles and to each other. Their capacity to convey the comedy within the tragedy is masterful, and Hynes’ direction allows the audience to catch a breath and relax with the laughs before the action slams them again.”

“The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the theatrical equivalent of eating a steaming, hearty bowl of beef stew on a winter’s night. You can sink your teeth into it, chew on its dramatic morsels, and walk away feeling sated.”

Broadway World

“The leadership team at ArtsEmerson is unparalleled in their genius for finding far-flung world class story tellers and bringing them to Boston for local audiences to enjoy.”

“An audience member who sits through this play without bursting into laughter, erupting with a gasp or two, and being moved to tears is simply not paying attention – to the script and to their heart.”

The White Rhino Report

“Get ready for an emotional and psychological wallop.”

Joyce's Choices

“Contrary to what Gilmore Girls would have you believe, mother-daughter relationships aren’t all brainy banter and mixups that can be resolved with quick-fire quips over coffee. Consider Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, a drama that centers on a twisted mother-daughter duo, whose dysfunctional relationship is heightened by their isolation in a small Irish village.”

The Improper Bostonian

“Garry Hynes, the first woman to win a directing Tony (for her Beauty Queen staging in 1998), returns with her fearless Druid troupers for a solidly entertaining revival.”

“With these vibrant, lusty performers at the controls, the grim machinery of McDonagh’s amoral morality tale clicks into place: so ugly you can’t take your eyes off it.”

Time Out New York

“Laceratingly funny and boisterously vicious”

The Huffington Post

“Hilariously grim.”


“Richly theatrical and satisfying. Every beauty queen should age so well.”

New York Daily News

“A production that manages to be at once haunting and a whole lot of fun.”

Exeunt Magazine

“The production nails the strange simultaneity of hilarity, depression, and dread that distinguishes McDonagh’s writing”

Flavorwire Staff Pick

“It’s artistic proof not only that the work has transcended the historical moment of its birth but that it packs the kind of universal staying power that can speak across generations.”


“This searing reimagining of that debut…makes it abundantly clear what all the fuss was about.”

LA Weekly

“Under Garry Hynes splendid direction, the actors give sparkling performances, feasting on every word and action.”

— Broadway World

“A tragedy that will make you roar with laughter.”

“An outstanding production that’s as witty as it is shocking.”

“McDonagh rides an improbable line between sophistication and folksiness, delivering a rare tragedy that contains more laughs than sobs”

— The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s quite a story directed and acted brilliantly by each cast member, that leaves audience members walking out of the theatre expressing out loud, ‘Wow, that was intense.’”

— The Stage Review

“STUNNING. You begin to feel nourished in ways you had forgotten were possible.”

“MCDONAGH HAS A MASTER’S HAND at building up and subverting expectations in a cat-and-mouse game with the audience.”

— Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“Garry Hynes’ direction – tense, taut, toying with the melodrama until almost the end – is just right.”

— The Wall Street Journal

“A world-class company rooted in the cultural fabric of Galway.”

— The Irish Times

“Ireland’s most prestigious theatre company.”

— The Irish Independent

“Hynes is not only a first-rate director. She has that mixture of the visionary and the pragmatic you find in all great theatrical pioneers.”

— The Guardian (Michael Billington) on Garry Hynes