Everybody knows a mad Mary. It could be the “harmless” neighbour next door whose gaze you prefer to avoid whilst taking the bins out or the general gadabout in town who everybody claims to know but in fact nobody really knows at all. Heck, they don’t even have to be called Mary or be a woman at all!
Director Darren Thornton captures this outsider character in the form of his debut film, A Date for Mad Mary staring Seána Kerslake as the said outsider and protagonist, Mary, who has just been released from a stint in Mountjoy Prison
The plot centres on Mary’s changing relationship with her friend Charlene, played by the former Fair City actress, Charleigh Bailey as Mary is forced into the chief bridesmaid role for her uptight friend’s wedding. Mary, the world’s most unlikely bridesmaid narrates the film in the form of a speech to Charlene, and as the film goes on it is clear that the pairs friendship will never be the same again.
With Drogheda, Co. Louth the backdrop to this film, the town is painted as a dead-beat, dim backwater with little to offer its residents, least of all Mary. While for fast-paced viewers the film may be perceived as slow-moving and plodding, the manner in which it captures small town life and the inner confusion of Mary is worth sticking with.
Former Raw actress Tara Lee acts as a stunning shining light in the film, while Red Rock’s Suzanne McCormack too stars as Mary’s feisty mother.
By no means a rom-com, A Date For Mad Mary, is a raw and gritty tale and although not widely shown in cinemas across the country, it is worth making the journey to watch it. It’s a welcome change seeing Irish actresses rock the big screen and getting the recognition they deserve at long last.