Maggie’s Feg Run, Theatre Review, Belfast’s Grand Opera House, January 25, 2022

It equally pleases and pains me to type this review. Let’s not focus on the pain bit. That’ll come later when I get a tad nostalgic. What’s happening in this theatre tonight will never happen again. Myself and about 900 others were treated to was a fantastic night of mucky theatre. I’m sure writer Leesa Harker nor actor Caroline Curran will not pull me up on that. It’d make a merchant sailor blush.

It’s simple. Borrowed money to do a quick feg run to Benidorm and all will be fine and dandy. Just like Del Boy saying, ‘this time next year we’ll be millionaires’. But this run is set up by Maggie Muff and her dearest friend, Big Sally Ann. If you know their history, it’ll not end well.

The set is simple: a couple of massive sandals and a well used bed. But it’s a set simple in design for good reason. The script is tighter than a man’s ball bag walking into the Irish Sea. The delivery is perfect, mucky and a gag a minute. Curran shifts from character to character with such ease it takes careful listening; that’s if you’re not choking half way through and trying to gather your thoughts on what the next scene will deliver.

And deliver it does. Whether it be ‘lumbering the bake clean of him’ or ‘a fanny left like a rump steak’, Harker’s words will have you cracking ribs and wiping snatters awf your sleeve.

And the characters are all here; Sinead, Deidre No Diddies, Billy, Mr Red, White and Blue, a few lovers picked up and thrown away like a wet chammy. Crisis loans – the working classes’ money lender, nudist beeches, sun burn, Brian Cox, Sticky Vicky, Shirley Valentine references, tigers never changing their spots and too many other moments to put to paper.

It’s quite simple really: a damn good script, one of the best actors to have come through in our era and a crowd who is so involved it makes your hair stand. In at 7.30. out at 9.30 the story’s acr doesn’t need anything fancy. It’s all there.

Alas I hate to inform you readers this is the last run of Maggie Muff’s delightful adventures. No tour, it plays in the Grand Opera House until February 5th. I grew up as a reporter of the arts admiring both Harker and Curran. But what fun and frolics they’ve give us. Ticker tape and two standing ovations well deserved.

If you like a laugh and beautifully performed manic theatre, this is the show for you. To quote Big Sally Ann it’s ‘Lit up like Ibrox at an Old Firm match’.

For booking details visit http://www.goh.co.uk or simply phone the box office on 02890 241919.

For further updates follow CultureCrush NI on Facebook.

ENDS

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