Enda Walsh’s latest play Ballyturk opens on the Lyttelton stage at London’s National Theatre next week (11 September 2014) directed by the playwright for one month only. Since premiering at the Galway Arts Festival in July, it has been a sell out smash hit at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and the Cork Opera House.
Cillian Murphy returns to the National following his electrifying solo performance in Enda’s Misterman. He is joined by the author’s long time collaborator Mikel Murfi and internationally acclaimed film and theatre actor Stephen Rea.
Michael Billington in The Guardian called it “a manic physical comedy like Under Milk Wood as interpreted by Buster Keaton”. Irish critic Fintan O’Toole simply called it “Eric and Ernie” (Cillian and Mikel) two innocent men, simply identified as one and two, who share a bed but are not lovers, in a windowless basement covered in layers of pencil drawings, in an imagined Irish no-place called Ballyturk. Character 3 (Stephen) enters the frenetic desperation on stage as a quiet, anti-climatic chain-smoking deus ex machina (this is a plot device, it’s from Latin meaning ‘go from the machine’ and is used by the writer to solve seemingly insolvable problems with a new character or event) who terrifies them!
Ballyturk is a continuation of Walsh’s last collaboration with Cillian and Mikel in Misterman. Enda said he and all three actors in mind when he wrote the piece.
All three kindly signed my sketch at the Olympia during the production’s run in mid-August.