Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Ballyturk (2014)
  • Galway Festival ( Black Box Theatre ), Olympia, Dublin, Cork Opera House
    National Theatre ( Lyttleton ), London
    St Ann's Warehouse New York
  • Director: Enda Walsh
  • Set & Costume Design: Jamie Vartan
  • Lighting Design: Adam Silverman
  • Nominated for: Irish Times Theatre Awards 2014 Best Set Design
“Ballyturk, in fact, seems to be a place constructed daily from the minds of two men, trapped together in a vast room without doors or windows, who perform the frantic and frazzled stories of a place they imagine beyond its walls.evidence of an outside world intrudes: chatty voices burble through a wall, a buzzing fly makes an entrance (Murphy’s character is agog, he has never seen one) and a potted flower mysteriously appears. Such signs of life are entrancing and perplexing. Yet the play is closer to a meditation on death; that undiscovered country. “I thought we knew everything there was to know,” says Murphy, stunned by the fly, and soon the boundaries of this tiny world are torn apart completely (in Jamie Vartan’s set, literally) with the arrival of a stranger, played by Olwen Fouéré, who steps carefully down a collapsed wall in her pencil skirt and heels, crouching low, like a preying animal.”
Irish Times  ★★★★
“With a tremendous roar of mangled strings, the back wall collapses, revealing the figure of Stephen Rea, smoking on a bank of grass with his back to the room – a truly stunning tableau. After a while, Rea departs, and just when it seems Walsh is going to let the play end without explaining anything, there’s a stark revelation that gives all the previous action a brilliant clarity. It’s the most dazzling moment in ‘Ballyturk’s constellation of set pieces.”
Time Out  ★★★★
“There are scenes of manic physicality as well as slow-moving intensity, and Walsh (who directs) makes full use of the Lyttelton Theatre’s space. The production’s technical finesse is typified by Murfi who bounces around like a rubber ball yet even in his most animal moments moves with balletic precision.
For all the flashes of humour, Ballyturk is a bleak and exacting piece — abstract, at times cloyingly whimsical and pickled in its own absurdity.
But it’s stunningly performed, and Walsh’s writing has wild verve.
Evening Standard  ★★★★
“There’s plenty of ballyhoo around Ballyturk. Written and directed by Enda Walsh, and with a cast comprising Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and Mikel Murfi, it is the hottest ticket at this year’s Galway international arts festival. And deservedly so, because it combines manic physical comedy with a meditation on the brevity of our earthly existence.”
Guardian  ★★★★
“The curtain rises on two men, known solely as 1 (Cillian Murphy) and 2 (Mikel Murfi), who jointly inhabit a high-walled room complete with multiple cupboards, a cuckoo clock, but not a single window — no chance, therefore, of escape. Bound together like some modern-day version of Beckett’s tramps from “Waiting For Godot,” the duo at various points strip down to their underwear, dance and wreak verbal and visual havoc.”
International New York Times