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Tron Theatre

‘How can I talk about Ballyturk knowing that it’s only ever inside and nowhere else?’ Read more …

Ballyturk is Enda Walsh’s moving meditation on the brevity of our existence – a mundane village with echoes of Dylan Thomas’s Llareggub in Under Milk Wood, viewed through a Truman Show style filter of confined artificiality. 

Explosions both literal and imagined, music and exhilarating physical comedy punctuate beautifully poetic renderings of life in the type of small town we have all visited, and, more likely, lived in. The result is exuberant, surreal, funny and gut-wrenchingly sad. 

‘I walk through Ballyturk and the birds are flyin’ down from the woods… I can see them ahead outside Deasy’s and they’re feedin’ on last night’s chips… Her bare knees on the hard floor and Joyce Drench is packin’ away tins of peas.  Her head full of last night’s Bingo, her agonising defeat to Marnie Reynolds and her own reliance on lime in lager. She hears him enter - the smoke on his breath visible before he is.’

The critical consensus

The cast are terrific- Simon Donaldson and Grant O'Rourke leap from intense monologues to completely bonkers sequences with ease. The monologues are wonderfully poetic and a joy to listen to. Wendy Seager appears as the third character and brings with her more confusion and some of the best lines in the play.

****(*)Natalie O'Donoghue, Broadway World, 06/10/2018

For some it may feel obtuse and a little too much like hard work to make sense of. Nevertheless, good theatre pushes us, changes perceptions and provokes thought, and this is certainly what Walsh achieves.

****(*)Matthew Keeley, The Wee Review, 07/10/2018

Simon Donaldson and Grant O’Rourke are quietly superb as One and Two, rubbing along like the oddest of odd couples.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 08/10/2018

There’s always a gloriously unfiltered audaciousness to Walsh’s writing, which is here offset by a sense of everyday existential dread and the absurd constructions we hide ourselves inside to survive it.

****(*)Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 09/10/2018

All three main performances are haunting and memorable, while Arnold and his technical crew, including Mark Doubleday, the lighting designer, and Danny Krass, the sound designer, work wonders in creating a suitably uncanny atmosphere for Walsh’s play.

****(*)Allan Radcliffe, 08/10/2018

Impermanence and misery has never seemed so dreamy.

****(*)Lorna Irvine, The List, 10/10/2018

Andy Arnold's revival of Enda Walsh’s absurdist hit is lively, but its heavy existentialist dint lacks clarity.

***(*)(*)Ryan Hay, The Skinny, 16/10/2018

A beautifully constructed production.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 18/10/2018

Features about Ballyturk

Where and when?

Tron Theatre, Glasgow from Thursday October 4, 2018, until Saturday October 20, 2018. More info:

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