THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE

By Martin McDonagh (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)

Giulia Pagano and Pauline Flanagan in The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Giulia Pagano and Pauline Flanagan in The Beauty Queen of Leenane

The Beauty Queen of Leenane skirts the edges of mere nastiness -- a sneering, condescending, despising invidious humor more English than Irish. But the playwright, Martin McDonagh, is a young city man of limited experience from a straitened background. Given time, perhaps he will develop the humanism of his literary forerunners, Brendan Behan most especially, and learn to mix contempt born of fear and ignorance with some pity.

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