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A Brief Encounter with... Michele Moran

Michele Moran stars as Maureen in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane directed by Paul Kerryson. The production opens at Leicester's Curve theatre from 18 Oct, here Kieran Johnson chats all things Beauty Queen with her.

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Michele Moran stars as Maureen in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, directed by Paul Kerryson. The production opens at Leicester's Curve theatre from 18 Oct – 9 Nov, before transferring the Mercury Theatre Colchester from 13 – 23 Nov.

Tell us about The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane charts the life of Maureen Folan and her relationship with her mother, Mags, and her brush with romance in the mountains of County Galway, Ireland. However, as their relationship flourishes a shocking and disturbing train of events is set in motion.

And a little about your character of Maureen?

Maureen is a forty year old virgin who lives on a small holding in rural Ireland with her manipulative mother. She had a brush with mental illness when she was in her twenties and has never been allowed to put it behind her and move on. She is a sensitive, lonely, intelligent woman who is starved of love and stimulus.

What attracted you to the part?

Beginning to work McDonagh's repertoire. The Beauty Queen of Leenane is such a well-crafted play. I had to live a little before you can play these parts. The part of Maureen is complex, intelligent and juicy to play… and I get to snog a hottie on stage eight shows a week! What's not to like? Working with Paul Kerryson and coming to Curve was also a big attraction.

Are you excited to work with Paul Kerryson?

I have had aspirations to work with Paul for several years. He is renowned for his creativity and vision as well as producing some of the hottest theatre in Britain. I thought we would work together on a musical project but then The Beauty Queen of Leenane came along. Paul's work and past history with the writings of Martin McDonagh is legendary and I longed to be part of that story. It was not an opportunity I was going to let slip past me. I hope it's the first of many collaborations!

Have you performed in Leicester before?

I have never performed in Leicester before now. I tour a lot with my work and have to say I'm loving it here .The energy in the city, the buzz, feeling safe, its sense of space and mostly the friendliness of the people. Leicester has got it going on!

What are your plans after The Beauty Queen of Leenane?

My plans after the show finishes at Leicester and the Mercury Theatre Colchester are to head off to for a short break on a Caribbean island, maybe if Richard Branson's is free over the Christmas that would be nice before moving to New York City for the Broadway transfer of the show…

I'm thinking "Curve Leicester takes Broadway by storm with The Beauty Queen of Leenane " type reviews! From there lots of lead roles in top quality theatre, film and TV followed by world domination, world peace and maybe a snog or two with Gabrielle Byrne or Liam Neeson or both? On stage strictly, of course, really it's all about the art!

Why should people come and see The Beauty Queen of Leenane?

People should come to see this show because it will thrill, thrill, thrill them, in a seat off the pants kind of way. It's fast paced, clever, cinematic, dramatic, dark and funny! What more do you want from a night out?