Maggie’s back - and she’s taking no prisoners!

Caroline Curran as Maggie Muff.
Caroline Curran as Maggie Muff.
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“When people ask me what ‘50 Shades of Red, White and Blue is about, I tell them two things,” Caroline Curran tells me.

“The first is that it’s about a young girl who goes down to the brew to sign on, meets a man and gets together with him.

“The second is that it is explicit, crude and littered with bad language - and that from the first two lines people will know exactly what they have let themselves in for.”

In short - it’s not a show for the faint hearted or those easily offended by talk of a sexual nature.

But that said, Caroline says, it is “more than a comedy” and in fact a strong feminist story which will have women cheering for the heroine of the piece - the inimitable Maggie Muff.

“By the end of the piece, the audience are often on their feet cheering for Maggie as she takes on the man who has been beating her up in the name of love and sex,” Caroline says.

Of course the play, penned by Belfast scribe Leesa Harker is based on the hugely successful trilogy of books - and soon to be movie - 50 Shades of Grey. In the original books a young inexperienced woman finds herself at the mercy of the brooding Mr Grey - a man who likes to dominate his lovers and isn’t adverse to physical violence.

The local version started as a parody on Facebook but soon hit the stage. It now, Caroline says, stands confidently as a piece of work in its own right.

“The original fuss over the original books has died down, but I suppose with the trailers having been released for the big screen version of books, there may be a renewed interest in it. But I think this piece stands on its own now.”

Caroline is the original Maggie Muff and has been playing the role for almost two years.

It’s a role that still excites and terrifies her.

“Of course I still get some nerves. At the end of the day it is me and me alone on the stage hoping that it all works.

“But then now, after playing the role for a while, I know how people generally do react and after this time I think people know when they come to see us, they know what they are letting themselves in for - and they go along with the ride.”

The parody has been an unmitigated success. Versions of the show have been staged in England, Scotland, Dublin and as far afield as Australia.

Caroline, of course feels a certain ownership of the character but loves seeing how she travels.

“Each version is changed a little to suit where the show is being staged - so Maggie herself changes.

“But she is a character I definitely enjoy playing.”

The strength of the piece lies not only in the shock factor - which may have tempted a few people through the door but also in the humanity and realism of the larger than life Maggie herself.

“Leesa has written in such a way that you feel Maggie’s joy and her pain - and really at heart she is just a young woman looking for love.”

Audience reactions can vary to the show and Caroline says her first night playing Maggie in Derry was a bit of a scary one.

“The audience were very. very quiet,” she laughs and I just thought: ‘oh no... that was scary’ but the second night people laughed the full way through.

“Sometimes what you find is that people don’t want to laugh too loud - in case people think they’ve been up to some of those hijinks...People can be shy, even as an audience.

“But all is takes is one person with an infectious laugh to set their row off and they laughter travels.”

If you feel game for a laugh - and not afraid of a bit of saucy language - then 50 Shades of Red, White and Blue is returning to the Millennium Forum on Thursday and Friday of next week. To book tickets call the box office on 71264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk