The Beauty Queen of Leenane 2012 Purdue Theatre
By Martin McDonagh | Directed by Gordon McCall | Set Design by Derek Miller | Costume Design by Jill Van Brussel | Lighting Design by Michael McNamara
In our production, sound functions as a way for the audience to experience Maureen’s oppressive relationship in the same way she does. All sound is heard from Maureen’s point of view and is subject to her increasing feelings of entrapment and desperation. Sounds from the outside world such as weather, radio, and TV programs, are subject to the toxic nature of the cottage. The message that this diegetic sound conveys is taken into careful consideration, especially when dealing with radio and TV dialogue. Similar to how McDonagh has irreverently treated the setting of the idyllic Irish cottage, much of the music draws inspiration from traditional Irish folk music from an outsider’s perspective. Music is also key in highlighting the humor within the production and many pieces are selected for their sense of irony. In order to increase the presence that silence has in the world of the play, the noise floor is raised very slightly in the theatre space, to then be removed at key moments. This noise is present from the moment the audience enters to until they leave the space and does not interfere with the intelligibility of the spoken dialogue.