The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh
Druid Theatre Company Theatre can be fabulously deceptive!
For a short time as I watched the Druid Theatre Company’s acclaimed The Walworth Farce, I wondered, “Am I watching accomplished actors, acting very badly?”
Suddenly, briefly, a switch threw the action into reality, and it became clear that this was playful, absurd manipulation of classic farce form, adding a dark underlying Irish subtext.
A father and his two sons live, isolated, in a bleak London council flat, no contact with the world except for one son’s daily excursions to purchase identical groceries from the local Tesco. Each day is occupied acting out a bizarre, farcical, ritualized performance – an absurdly idealized representation of the day their lives went wrong.
What changes their ritual performance this day? The son has picked up the wrong bag of groceries, integral to the daily farce, bringing the dark subtext to the surface.
Enter an outsider. I went to interval pondering just what the impact would be.
I went with The Walworth Farce after intermission and slid into its psychotic vortex. The weird theatrical experience grew more chilling and darkly ambiguous.
Druid always visits Australia with distinctive Irish Drama. The Walworth Farce is no exception.
Image: Michael Glenn Murphy and Raymond Scannell in the Druid Ireland production of The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh, directed by Mikel Murfi. Photo by Robert Day.