It’s been a while since we’ve seen Leesa Harker or heard about Maggie Muff and Big Sally Ann, so when we heard the final Maggie Muff play was coming to the Opera House, we had to catch up and chat with Leesa to hear more!
In a very casual chat in the foyer of the Opera House, right after the final dress rehearsal for Maggie’s Feg Run.
We talked about Maggie, Leesa and what the future holds for both.
Feg Run was the final book in the Maggie Muff trilogy, and we think the best. Leesa loves Feg Run, she reckons the characters were much more rounded and she knew them so well by then! Although, when it came to writing the script for Feg Run, she had forgotten some of the scenarios and had to reread the story before bringing it to stage.
As with the previous plays, they are scattered with Leesa’s take on some of her real life situations. She tells a good story, and has had a lot of adventures, so watching Maggie Muff (Caroline Curran) reenact them on stage should be a geg. After all, nobody does Maggie on stage like Caroline. She talks about shaggin like only a pure Belfast lady would. Although, I wouldn’t mind watching the other regional performances who have replaced shaggin with pumpin, buckin, or ridin!
Is there a future in Maggie?
Apparently when we see this stage production, by the end you just know that it’s the end for her. It’s very clear that this particular incarnation of Maggie is over and Leesa says it’s the end of the one woman shows. Although Leesa did say that it’s not entirely impossible that Maggie and Sally won’t reappear at some point in the future, maybe on stage in a bigger production with all the other characters in the book that still have legs in them.
What’s next for Leesa?
There’s always the possibility of a TV series or special. That has already almost happened but fell through in the end; the local TV company wanted to play safe and were probably ultimately scared of taking the leap with Maggie and her adventures. But it will happen. You never know, maybe one of the UK regions who have already had their versions of Maggie will run with a TV production.
Talking of the regional productions, Leesa has toured the UK with Maggie and adapted it each time herself to suit that audience. She’s even seen the Manchester version head down under to tour Australia. Yes, apparently they are very at ease with the accent, must be a Coronation Steer thing!
Leesa continues to write and has a number of projects on the go, including something that brings out her darker side. Influenced by thriller and crime books growing up, with a bit of Stephen King thrown in, Leesa is currently working on a genre of writing in complete contrast to Maggie Muff.
The first night of Feg Run seemed to go down a storm, with audiences raving about it on social media following the first performance. We’ll be there very soon to watch it and form our own opinion, and we have high hopes and fully expect Feg Run to be as hilarious as the previous two one woman shows.
I didn’t feel it would be right to arrive for a chat with Leesa without taking one of my own new products which I knew she’d appreciate. A fab blue chopping board for her kitchen worktop with lots of sayings Maggie Muff would appreciate.
It’s pure class! And they are for sale in St George’s Market and Visit Belfast.
Make sure you get booking with www.goh.co.uk for your Feg run fun, or catch it when it hits the road on tour around Norn Iron.
— Leesa Harker (@Leesaharker) July 28, 2016