Yes you would have to be mad. To want to go out on a date with Mary, a freshly released 25 year-old former prisoner. But she managed to get 10 people to date her in quick succession girls, so there’s hope for you all yet! The plot is that she is going to a wedding and needs a date so as not to lose face in front of the bride.

10-dates-mad-mary0011Mary is played to perfection by Caoilfhionn Dunne. Sometimes a bit of a tomboy, always a bit feisty and often a little melancholy. The fact that she is Irish lets her get away with some pretty bad language of course which is part of her charm at the same time. The best line…..oh shall we tell you…..Yes we have to! The name of the shop where the bride goes to buy her dress is …wait for it.. “Bride Sally Bride” – get it? You almost expected the nine-piece band from The Commitments to strike up behind her at that point!

Quite how one person can remember all the words in the right place at the right time is a little beyond The Reporter…. Remembering the milk at the supermarket even when it is written on a list is hard enough. And there were a lot of words for Dunne to remember. Fast-paced and riveting. This is a show you do not want to forget about. So go get your tickets for Mad Mary today. The show is on at the Pleasance/Jack Dome which is in Bristo Square not at The Pleasance – so you can’t say we didn’t warn you.

10 Dates with Mad Mary A Romantic Comedy (sort of)
By Yasmine Akram Directed by Darren Thornton
Featuring Caoilfhionn Dunne as Mad Mary
Set Design: Kieran McNulty Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shields Costume Design: Suzanne Keogh Sound Design: Jack Cawley
Pleasance Dome/Jack Dome, 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh Wednesday 4 August to Sunday 29 August 2010 At 5.20pm daily (no shows on Monday 16 or 23 August)

It’s also interesting to know what the director himself thinks about it. So here’s what Darren Thornton has to say:-“At the beginning of the process Yasmine [Akram] and I talked about movies more than theatre, about our shared interest in ‘old school’ romantic comedies. The kind of movies Billy Wilder made, we spoke about how romantic comedies had become rom‐coms, these awfully dull and lifeless consumer fantasies that are churned out by major Hollywood studios every other week. We decided that we wanted to do a theatre show for the female audience that go to these kind of movies and end up being as disappointed as we do. A theatre show that had kind of a cinematic quality – like an old‐fashioned romance, but with a modern urban hero at the centre of the story ‐ a female lead who was the antithesis to the usual ‘Bridget Jones’ types – and so we created Mary ‐ a foul‐mouthed, temperamental, small town rebel. A girl who’s just been released from prison and is coming home to a town she no longer recognizes, where all her friends have grown up and she’s been left behind.
The writing process was very intense, I think we began rehearsals with half a draft and then the rest of the play was written in the three week rehearsal block, sometimes this can be really dangerous, but for this production, it seemed to work in our favour, it gave the show a frenetic raw energy and made for a visceral performance. All of the crew got behind the process, creative decisions were made in the moment, and all of the elements came together for our first opening in Drogheda in December of 2009. Since then the show has played successfully in Project, Dublin in January and February of this year, and Edinburgh will be the first time it plays to an international audience, which we’re keen to see, because the show is filled with ‘small town’ colour, our small town – Drogheda – and we’re eager to see how an audience outside of Ireland will respond to it.. if Mary will endear the audience in the same way she did in Ireland.. we’re confident that she will.”