Classic Irish play heads to The Playhouse with Northampton’s White Cobra

Northampton based theatre company White Cobra Productions are putting on their production of the acclaimed play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, in their home town.

Now established as a modern classic of Irish theatre, The Beauty Queen of Leenane will be performed for five nights at Northampton’s Playhouse Theatre, in Clare Street, from 12-16 March

First performed in 1996, Martin McDonagh’s debut script put him on the theatrical map – The Beauty Queen of Leenane received six Tony award nominations for it’s run on Broadway, winning four of them.

The play tells the story of Maureen Foley – now middle aged, she is a plain and lonely woman who lives with her manipulative, ageing mother Mag. Her mother’s interference in Maureen’s first and potentially only romantic relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.

Playing Maureen is Kate Billingham, a founder of White Cobra Productions, who won a best actress award at an international drama festival in 2018 for her performance in Glorious – The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the worst singer in the world. Mag is played by Kimberley Vaughan, whose previous productions include The Shakespeare Revue, while making his debut for White Cobra is Jof Davies (Brief Encounter, It’s a Wonderful Life) as Ray Dooley, with the cast completed by Richard Jordan (Scaramouche Jones, Little Shop of Horrors) as Pato.

Also new to White Cobra is director Liz Clarke, who has worked extensively as an actress and director for Masque Theatre in Northampton, and in Market Harborough, where she has directed Rumours, Breaking the Code and The Exorcism.

Kate Billingham

“It’s a fantastic play for our first production of the year, and we’re really excited to be doing it in Northampton,” said Kate Billingham. “We’re also performing it in Kettering, too, on April 6th at the Bonkers Playhouse, and we always get great support from local people around our home town and county.

“I hope the audience enjoy watching the production as we’ll have performing it; it established Martin McDonagh as an acclaimed playwright, and has been performed all over the world.”

White Cobra will be back in Northamptonshire in May, when they bring the iconic 1960s film ‘The Graduate’ to the stage, performing it at Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, on May 14, followed by a run at The Deco, in Northampton, from May 16 – 18.

Tickets for The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh, are now on sale online at or by calling 07447 217622.