10 Dates with Mad Mary (Inis Nua): A real piece of work returns

Don’t get on her bad side – don’t get in her way. Anna Faye Lieberman plays Mad Mary with fearless heart and fiery soul. Confident and appealing, she is a one woman assault on the concept of normalcy. Just released from prison, and you can bet it wasn’t for good behavior, she’s turning over a number of rocks trying to find a date for her best friend’s wedding, and in the process she learns a few things. Rated the best fighter in the Irish industrial town of Drogheda, Mary doesn’t suffer anyone gladly, including herself. But for all her saber tongue and barbed nature she’s loveable. With her naughty girl sense of humor she quickly signs you up on her side. Mad Mary is a real piece of work, and I say that as a true compliment.

10 Dates with Mad Mary is playing upstairs at a favored watering hole, Fergie’s Pub. The show was so popular last year that it’s back!

The ticket price comes with remarkable theater hospitality: a meat or vegetable individual pot pie (supplied by Stargazy Pies) is served with a pint of Fergie’s best to wash it down. Good eats, good drink, great show. What else can they do to make you happy? Intimate wouldn’t begin to describe the tiny stage, so close you could reach out and touch Mad Mary (Anna Faye Lieberman), who would, I’m sure, be happy to chew your hand off were you so foolish as to try it. The audience eats and drinks and has a fun time at family style tables, laughing, getting lost in Mary’s world.

Director Kathryn MacMillan’s sure hand guides this performance, bringing out the best and worst in Mary’s character. MacMillan directed this play last year, along with Inis Nua’s Little Gem. A veteran, MacMillan has a special knack for bringing drama and action to the challenging realm of solo performance. All that’s needed is a fab actor and a chairThey got that. 

 Written by Yasmine Akram, 10 Dates with Mad Mary, was first staged in Drogheda, County Loath, Ireland by the Calipo Theatre Company, premiering in 2009 at the Droichead Arts Centre. (Yasmine Akram, a writer, actor, and director, played the role of Janine Hawkins in BBC’s Sherlock.)  

Inis Nua’s mission is to stage contemporary provocative plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, and the work of American playwrights who deal with  the British-American experience. 

[Inis Nua Theatre at Fergies Pub, 1214 Sansom St.] September 7-17, 2023; inisnuatheatre.org

Production Team

Director: Kathryn MacMillan
Assistant Director: Paige Whitman
Stage Manager: Liv Hershey
Costume Designer: Anna Sorrentino
Sound Designer: Nick Seymour
Technical Support: Alyssa Cole
Dialect Coach: Leonard Kelly

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