BALLYTURK countdown: Something “insane” is coming your way | Video interview with Enda Walsh, Cillian Murphy, Mikel Murfi, and Stephen Rea

“After years of making work, the ambition is still to keep theatre alive, dangerous, unknowable and dreadfully f**king exciting for an audience.”
-Enda Walsh

A sold out world premiere of BALLYTURK by Enda Walsh is on in Galway’s Black Box Theatre. And if you’ve got a ticket, you’re one of the luckiest people on earth.

New Irish plays bound for stages all over the world routinely begin life in small spaces like Galway’s Black Box. It’s great to catch them wherever you can later – London, New York, LA, Sydney. But nothing compares to seeing the original production in the home town theatre in front of the home town crowd.

Here’s an invigorating video interview (inside an Irish Times story) with the four artists involved. It beautifully captures why these Enda Walsh plays are so memorable and unique – especially when you see them with an Irish cast.

UPDATE: Here’s the video only

According to Walsh, “The piece is the most crazy, wild, charged thing I think I’ve ever done.” If you know his other plays – that is saying something!

“You won’t go as a human being to BALLYTURK and NOT come out on the other side going “Oh my god!”
-Mikel Murfi

“With Enda you always know it will be unique and original. There is no one else like him.”
-Cillian Murphy

“It will be an evening of pure theatre. It won’t be about something – it will be something.”
-Stephen Rea

High praise. But Walsh is the real deal.

After Galway, BALLYTURK heads to Dublin, Cork, and the National Theatre in London.

After that… stay tuned for US tour details.

7.15.2014 Irish Times Review

BALLYTURK is here.  Enda Walsh: "It's so insane and terrifying!"
BALLYTURK is here. Enda Walsh: “It’s so insane and terrifying!”

Chicago’s Northlight Theatre presents CHAPATTI by Christian O’Reilly with Steppenwolf ensemble member John Mahoney at Galway International Arts Festival

Northlight Theatre is going on the road to the Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF), which starts tomorrow.

The Chicago company will present CHAPATTI by Christian O’Reilly, which premiered in Chicago this past spring, starring Steppenwolf ensemble member John Mahoney.

Mahoney, whose grandfather was Irish, is well known in Ireland from the sitcom FRASIER as well as previous stage appearances. This will be the fifth play he has performed in at GIAF, including a famous 2002 production of LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT.

On the road again.
On the road again. John Mahoney returns to Ireland.

Enda Walsh’s new play BALLYTURK becomes earliest sell out in Galway International Arts Festival history

When you’re hot, people want what you got.

Enda Walsh’s new play BALLYTURK, which opens this summer at Ireland’s Galway International Arts Festival with a who’s who of Irish theatre onboard, has sold out.

That’s not bad work considering the festival doesn’t even start until July 14. In GAIF history, a few other shows have sold out before the festival opens, but BALLYTURK sets a new mark for the earliest sell out ever.

And if you are one of the lucky few with a ticket? Prepare for one of the events of the year in the English language theatre world.

6.21.2014 Irish Times interview with Enda Walsh

Gone, daddy, gone. The tickets, that is.
Gone, daddy, gone. The tickets, that is.

Enda Walsh’s new play BALLYTURK to premiere at 2014 Galway Arts Festival with stunning cast

It’s been a bit of a wait for the next Enda Walsh play. In 2010, Walsh’s PENELOPE opened at the Galway Arts Festival and instantly provided one of the Irish drama highlights of the year. Featuring Druid stalwarts Denis Conway, Niall Buggy, Karl Shiels, and Tadgh Murphy, PENELOPE lit up the 99 seat Druid Lane theatre with unforgettable physical comedy.

After four long years, Walsh fans have another treat in store. His latest BALLYTURK will again open this July at GAF, and an all star list of who’s who in Irish theatre has been assembled. With Walsh directing and mega stars Mikel Murfi, Cillian Murphy, and Stephen Rea in the cast, it’s safe to say another major English language event will be hitting the world stage on the wild and windswept shores of Galway Bay this summer (or what passes for summer in the North Atlantic). The show is co-produced by Landmark Productions and the Galway Arts Festival and will run in Galway’s Black Box Theatre.

There is nowhere better on earth to catch a new Irish play than the annual GAF, which runs July 14-27 this year. With the indoor/outdoor dual offerings of world class culture and the ocean, mountains and lakes of Ireland’s West Coast, Galway has it all. Sea kayak, hike, surf, cycle by day, and see music, theatre, and dance by night.

Where else can you do that?

Well – Oregon, of course.

But almost nowhere else.

And if you can’t make it all the way to Eire, stay tuned. The production will likely tour to New York’s St. Ann’s Warehouse this fall.

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Galway Arts Festival announces 2013 programme

Imagine a place where you can sea kayak, hill climb, cycle, and trail run in one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth by day and see world class theatre, music, and performance art in an international European town by night.

That place is Galway City and Connemara on Ireland’s west coast.

The Galway Arts Festival, one of the mainstays of Europe’s annual arts calendar, announced its full 2013 programme today. Always a highlight of the year in Ireland, the festival runs July 15-28 and features artists from around the world.

Theatre is front and center at GAF. Though it is a small town the size of Bend, Oregon clinging to the windswept west coast of Europe’s far western edge, Galway features a year round theatre scene on a par with many world capitals. And even by Galway standards the annual festival is impressive. It may not be easy to get there, but once you arrive on the wild and wooly North Atlantic shores, the cultural and natural offerings are simply stunning.

Theatre highlights this year include a chance to see legendary Irish artist Olwen Fouéré and her company The Emergency Room perform RIVERRUN, a new production of Mark O’Rowe hit HOWIE THE ROOKIE, and the touring sensation from South Africa, MIES JULIE. In all, there are 11 theatre and dance shows on offer in 2013.

You can't count on the weather.  But the theatre is usually pretty reliable.
You can’t count on the weather. But the theatre is usually pretty reliable.


Delphi Valley near Leenane.
Delphi Valley near Leenane.

The Burren and Galway Bay.
The Burren and Galway Bay.

Co. Galway.
Co. Galway.

Galway's Town Hall Theatre.
Galway’s Town Hall Theatre.

Druid Lane.  Next stop: Brodway, The West End, and beyond.
Druid Lane. Next stop: Brodway, The West End, and beyond.