Tag Archives: Enda Walsh

Enda the Road: Studio’s The New Electric Ballroom and Capital Fringe’s Unquiet Mind, review’d

Jennifer Mendenhall, Nancy Robinette and Sybil Lines in "The New Electric Ballroom"

The final entry in Studio Theatre’s Enda Walsh festival, The New Electric Ballroom, is the least rewarding, squandering some lovely performances — and, as always, Walsh’s muddy lyricism — in the service of an opaque story that asks you to accept that a mild romantic disappointment in adolescence would drive not one but two women smeared-lipstick crazy for 40 years. The show is often called a companion piece to the concurrently-running The Walworth Farce, which it preceded by a year, but to me it feels more like an early draft.

My Washington City Paper review is here, along with a complimentary assessment of the Capital Fringe-affiliated Run Through the Unquiet Mind.

Unholy Trinities: Art and The Walworth Farce,  reviewed

Mitchell Hébert and John Lescault / photo by Scott Suchman

Art by Yasmina Reza; translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Matt Gardiner
At Signature Theatre to May 22

To frame things as reductively as possible, Yasmina Reza’s Art and Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce are both about two guys reacting to the alarming behavior of a third.

Admittedly, it’s a pretty slim commonality. Dinny, the tyrannical patriarch who runs the show in Walworth, is violent, delusional, sadistic—the very model of a modern major depressive sociopath. Serge, the catalyst of Art, is merely pretentious, dropping 200,000 clams on a painting that appears to his pals, and to us, to be a blank white canvas. “The resonance of the monochromatic doesn’t really happen under artificial light,” he explains, like an emperor protesting that his new clothes need only be brought in a bit.

Serge is a dermatologist by trade. That a surface unperturbed by form or color would call out to his soul is one of the better jokes here, which is to say this is neither the funniest nor the most insightful work ever to win the Tony Award for best play, which it did, or to follow its denouement with a deflating coda, which it does. Continue reading

The Last Days of Disco Pigs

Solas Nua’s current production of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs runs only 60 minutes, and you’re relieved when it’s over. Not because it’s bad — on the contrary, it’s a work of sparkling, propulsive genius, astutely staged and brilliantly performed.

But know this: Its brilliance is of the combative, exhausting variety. Its pace? Frenetic! Its language? Formidable. Our protagonists/narrators, Pig and Runt, don’t communicate in mere Irish slang, but in their own intimate, infantile, often impenetrable argot, one that recalls the Russian-influenced dialect Anthony Burgess concocted for his novel A Clockwork Orange. (Malcolm MacDowell memorably cooed it while terrorizing London with his “droogs” in Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation.)
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