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PRESS: Winner of five Naledi Theatre Awards, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE has Cape Town Premiere

Christine Skinner


Winner of five Naledi Theatre Awards, The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a theatrical masterpiece by acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin, In Bruge, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Hangmen). Recipient of four Tony Award nominations, the play is a darkly comic tale about the turbulent, dysfunctional, and often savage relationship between mother and daughter, Mag and Maureen Folan. 

Presented by How Now Brown Cow, the production played to overwhelming critical acclaim at Johannesburg’s Theatre on the Square in 2022 and is now set for a limited transfer season to Cape Town’s Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter from 2 to 19 August 2023.


Multi-award winner Charmaine Weir-Smith (The Train Driver) directs a stellar cast starring Jennifer Steyn(Recipes for Love and Murder, The Inconvenience Of Wings) as Mag, Julie-Anne McDowell (The Revlon Girl, Couplet) as Maureen, Bryan Hiles (Sweeney Todd, Cabaret) as Pato and Sven Ruygrok (Spud, Abraham Lincoln) as Ray.


The production is designed by multiple award-winning designers Greg King (set) and Denis Hutchinson(lighting).


The production won an incredible five Naledi Theatre Awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Jennifer Steyn; Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Sven Ruygrok; Best Director of a Play for Charmaine Weir-Smith; Best Theatre Set Design for Greg King and the highly coveted Best Production of a Play. It also received nominations for Best Lead Actress in a Play forJulie-Anne McDowell and for Best Lighting Design by Denis Hutchinson.


The play centres around the life of Maureen, an unmarried middle-aged woman, as she cares for her ailing mother Mag and tries to find love. When the two brothers enter, we are set on a path to the play’s thrilling conclusion. Interspersed with romance and humour, this psychological thriller will have audiences on the edge of their seats.


The critical acclaim from the Johannesburg season included the following comments:

“… a hefty chunk of utter magic”

— Robyn Sassen

“… magnificent and biting foray”

— Robyn Sassen

“… An absolute, superb theatre experience”

— Catherine Grenfell

“… beautifully crafted and extraordinarily well performed work”.

— Robyn Sassen

“… It's rare that a play stays with you days after watching it”.

— Arja Salafranca

“ … this work is the definition of universally fine drama. Do not miss it. Not on any account”

— Robyn Sassen

“… This piece was the best we have seen in the years of reviewing”.

— GaloreSA

“… a rare privilege to get to enjoy theatre of this calibre”

— Adrian Poulsen

“… this is gripping theatre, capturing you from the moment it begins and never letting go”.

— Arja Salafranca

“ … exciting theatre against all odds”

— Chris Thurman

“… this play will rest deep with you”.

— Robyn Sassen

“…’n Mens sit in ongeloof oor wat jy aanskou. Steyn, McDowell skitter”

— AJ Opperman

We are proud to announce that, for our Cape Town premiere, we are partnering with the dynamic team at non-profit organisation Vintage With Love,” says Daniel Galloway, Consulting General Manager and Producer for How Now Brown Cow.


Vintage With Love supports numerous literacy and Early Childhood Development charities throughout South Africa through the sale of good quality, pre-loved clothing. All proceeds from the sale of these wonderful gently-worn items, are donated to their network of charities, making a tangible difference in the lives of those beneficiaries. As the Vintage With Love team says, it’s Good For The Planet, Good For Your Wallet and Great for Charities in Need, so it’s a win-win all around!


Patrons can bring their pre-loved clothing to place in the donation  bins in the foyer ahead of the performance ofThe Beauty Queen of Leenane. For more information about how to donate or get involved, visit /


The Beauty Queen of Leenane will run at The Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter Theatre in Cape Town from 2 – 19 August 2023 only, with no opportunity for an extension.


Performances will run at 19h30 from Mondays to Saturdays, with an additional 14h00 matinee on each Saturday of the season.


The production carries a suggested age-appropriate restriction of no under 12s.


Tickets cost:

Mondays: R200

Tuesday & Wednesday: R220

Thursday to Saturday: R240

School Learners (*specific performances): R150

Groups, students, and pensioners: R180


Tickets are now available via the theatre’s website  or by calling the box office on 021 685 7880. Bookings can also be made on Webtickets or at Pick n Pay Stores.


For discounted block or schools’ bookings contact , and for charities or fundraisers contact Carmen Kearns on email and Zinobulali Goduka on


For more information, please click on


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