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Mrs Brown is riding high; Mrs Brown Rides Again, Metro Radio Arena.

IT'S not very often Ireland's favourite Mammy, Agnes Brown, is lost for words!

But for once, Mrs Brown is (very, very briefly) speechless as she overhears her family talking about putting her into a home, not realising they are, in fact, making plans for her ageing dog Spartacus.

That, alongside plans for a surprise birthday party for the mammy, is the basis for Mrs Brown Rides Again, which is back in the Toon after a five-year break.

A lot has happened in those intervening years, not least the award-winning Mrs Brown's Boys TV series. It's picked up a Bafta, and Agnes gives more than a nod to that just seconds into the play!

What remains constant, though, is you find yourself laughing throughout almost the whole of the show - with face-ache at the end.

Much of that is down to the impromptu ad libs courtesy of Brendan O'Carroll, who not only writes the script but takes on the role of Agnes Brown with aplomb.

You can see the comical fear on the rest of the cast as Agnes goes off on one.

It's not often you leave a theatre hurting from laughing, but if that is not the case here then something is wrong with you.

Mrs Brown does rely heavily on the cast evoking a sense that they are truly having fun on the stage.

At its heart it is an ensemble piece, although O'Carroll takes it to another level with masterly mannerisms and a connection with the audience most 'serious' actors can only dream of.

The Newcastle run is the biggest audience sizes on the whole tour - the good news is more seats have just been added. My advice? Get your tickets now!

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L AUGHS Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs Brown
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2012
Words:294
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