Maggie Muff is returning to The MAC in Dirty Dancin’ in le Shebeen, which runs from 15 to 25 January 2015

Dirty Dancing in le Shebeen
Elaine Barnes, Stage Manager, Samantha Mason, Production Assistant, Caroline Curran, Actress, Leesa Harker, Writer and Producer, Andrea Montgomery, Director of Dirty dancing in le Shebeen out in January 2015 at The MAC Live. Picture: Elaine Hill

Maggie Muff returns to The MAC

Controversial character Maggie Muff is returning to The MAC in Dirty Dancin’ in le Shebeen, which runs from 15 to 25 January 2015 after a successful run in The Grand Opera House in April 2014.

As the sequel to the hugely successful 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue; Dirty Dancin’ in le Shebeen is the brain child of writer Leesa Harker, and once again stars Caroline Curran as Maggie Muff.

Leesa Harker’s production company, Red Brick Road Productions, is the only all-female commercial production company in Northern Ireland and one of only a handful in the whole of the UK. She says, “I’ve always worked in male dominated environments, I trained as a car mechanic as part of an induction to car sales and was also a Bank Manager for many years.”

Leesa Harker is recovering from a breast cancer diagnosis and underwent chemotherapy while Dirty Dancin in le Shebeen was playing at The Grand Opera House. She says, “I think I will enjoy producing the play more this time around as the last time, I pretty much felt terrible the whole way through the production and was hospitalised twice.” Leesa added, “It’s great to be going back to The MAC theatre in Belfast where Maggie Muff first tread the boards in 2013. It’s such a lovely theatre – intimate – which is great for a one-woman show. You really feel like Maggie is talking to you like you are in her living room having a few glasses of wine – or should I say Buckfast!”

Dirty Dancing in le Shebeen
Picture: Elaine Hill

The MAC reported a surge in new visitors to the theatre in 2013 when ’50 Shades of Red, White and Blue’ premiered. Leesa said, “I realised quite quickly after 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue that a high percentage of the audience had never been to the theatre before seeing my play. I asked people why they were ‘theatre virgins’ and got responses such as ‘theatre is not for the working–class’ and ‘it’s all one-sided political plays’ and ‘there’s nothing for young people’. I realised I had the potential to make theatre more accessible to those people who felt excluded and so, I decided to set up my own production company.”

Dirty Dancin in le Shebeen had rave reviews first time round with Caroline Curran singled out for her amazing portrayals of multiple characters. Already, advance ticket sales are one of the highest on record for The MAC in Belfast.

“I have the ultimate female dream-team working on this play and we are a new tour de force for comedy in Northern Ireland,” says Leesa. “Dirty Dancin’ in le Shebeen is recommended for adults only – young, old and all those in between: males, females and those not quite sure- Prods, Greeners, Buddhists and Hare Krishna’s. Sense of humour and a love for all things ‘Norn Iron’ are a must!”

Dirty Dancing in le Shebeen
Picture: Elaine Hill

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