Druid Ireland The Walworth Farce

Performing Arts

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Druid Ireland
The Walworth Farce

by Enda Walsh

Fri, Oct 16, 2009 8 PM
Sat, Oct 17, 2009 8 PM

"It is exhilarating to hang on for dear life on a ride through Walsh's bold, original imagination...as brilliant an original play as you are likely to see in the theatre this year."—New York Sun

This international theater hit from Galway, Ireland, is sure to be one of the major highlights of our new season. The production revels in acclaimed Irish playwright Enda Walsh's sparkling command of language and the riotous twists and turns of his freewheeling play-within-a-play plot. Presented as an old-fashioned high farce—complete with rapid costume changes, cross-dressing, and mistaken identity—the remarkable play combines hilarious moments with jolts of dark realism and delivers empathetic insights into what happens when we become stuck in the stories we tell ourselves about our lives. It's been consistently hailed by critics as a sensation and prompted such enthusiastic comments as these: "ferociously entertaining...a triumph of suspense and staging, enacted unforgettably" (New York Times), "a most original talent...swaggers with vitality" (Guardian), and "a theatrical experience that claws at the imagination for days afterwards" (Variety).

As the play opens, it's 11 AM in a shabby tenement flat on the Walworth Road in South London. There you'll join an expatriate Irish family consisting of an amateur playwright father and his two grown sons. Each day, dad orchestrates a front parlor enactment of his play—the play of their lives, a deliciously warped fantasy heavily dependent on the author's slippery, selective memory. On one most memorable occasion the daffy thespians' folly evolves into a "day of twists and turns and ducks and dives and terrible shocks" (as the father describes in a rare instance of understatement). You won't want to miss any of the pivotal points in the action of this must-see show by one of the leading playwrights of our time.

Note to film fans: Enda Walsh cowrote the screenplay for Hunger, British artist Steve McQueen's acclaimed debut feature, which screened here to a rapt full house in March 2009.

Enda Walsh on The Walworth Farce

Jean Dubuffet, Vaches au pre (Cows in a meadow), 1954

Reserve your tickets now for Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection, on view through Dec 31. Learn more about the exhibition.

Artists featured in Transfigurations: Modern Masters from the Wexner Family Collection

Learn more about the artists represented in Transfigurations at our dedicated website. (Educators will also find curriculum resources to support their K–12 classrooms.)