No wonder this black comedy propelled Martin McDonagh into the limelight
when it premiered in 1996.

The perfectly drawn characters, daring comic
touches – not to mention the deceptively lilting rhythms of the dialogue and
a quartet of spot-on performances – make this a must see summer treat.
Unless, that is, you’ve just had a row with your mother.

Forty year old Connemara virgin Maureen is locked in a battle of resentful
hatred with her septuagenarian widowed parent, a malevolent termagant who
empties her chamber pot down the kitchen sink and treats her daughter like
an unpaid skivvy with constant complaints about lumps in her Complan and
incessant demands for porridge.

Her spitefulness is boundless and she’ll
stop at nothing to prevent Maureen from grabbing an unexpected last chance
of happiness when David Ganly’s excellent Pato (an awkward, kind hearted
bear of a man) temporarily returns from England.

It’s a cruel, no holds barred criticism of village life in rural Ireland –
tantalising in its glimpse of a new start and directed with a sure hand by
Joe Hill-Gibbins on Ultz’s damp, dreary kitchen set.
Cast against type, Susan Lynch captures Maureen’s lonely, deep-seated
frustration as well as her sudden, fragile blossoming, and, lording it in
her rocking chair, Rosaleen Linehan’s sly old Mag makes every gesture, every
facial movement count in this gloriously funny revival in extremely bad


Young Vic, The Cut, SE1 8LZ
Tube: Southwark / Waterloo
0207 922 2922
Until: 21st August
£19.50 (Limited number of £10
tickets for under 26’s)

Review: Louise Kingsley