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Actress goes out on a limb with starring role in Two Sore Legs

Maria Connolly in Two Sore Legs

A COFFIN, a fur coat, a brilliant actress and a script that is at turns hilarious, heart-breaking and thought-provoking – just some reasons why Two Sore Legs is such a great show.

The Green Shoot Productions play is written by Brenda Murphy (A Night With George) and is based on her mother Bridget, who had six children – Brenda included – with a married man, Liam, who refused to leave his wife and family.

Maria Connolly is sensationally good as she struts across the stage and inhabits all her roles – including Bridget, Brenda, Liam, the parish priest and Bridget’s despairing dad Tommy – with ease. She’s a good singer too.

Despite the putrid things some Lower Falls gossips said about Bridget, this story is not one of scandal but a heartfelt celebration of motherhood. “My children are my pride and joy. I love the BONES of them,” says Bridget.

The play is superbly composed, with Bridget – who passed away a few years ago – telling us how she chose and paid for her coffin a few days before she died. Then we flash back to the 50s and 60s when she first started seeing Liam.

The title comes from young Brenda being told that her mummy had a 'sore leg’ and needed to see a nurse or doctor, when she was actually pregnant again. When Bridget gave birth to twins, Brenda said 'Mummy must have had two sore legs this time’.

The action takes in the Troubles and some of Bridget’s personal tragedies, while Liam and the pontificating priest don’t come out of the play very well.

“My Brenda was always down on her da,” says Bridget and it’s easy to see why. It’s also easy to see why Two Sore Legs got such rave reviews at its Edinburgh run in August.

Last month at a press event Brenda Murphy was asked what type of audience she would like to see going along to the play at the Lyric, before Green Shoot Productions main man Martin Lynch replied 'large’ to much laughter.

He’ll have been happy to see a full house enjoying this captivating play on Tuesday night – and a standing ovation at the end.

:: Two Sore Legs runs at the Lyric in Belfast until Saturday.

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