The Walworth Farce (Tour - Salford)
The Walworth Farce is a complex and dense play that requires and rewards audience concentration. We are helped by Mikel Murfi's crystal -clear direction which takes us through the apparent chaos and ensures we are able to follow the plot and lose none of the dark humour.
Written by Enda Walsh. the play examines the power and limitations of stories. It shows how tall tales can comfort and educate but, if not kept under control, can become a dangerous barrier to real life. It is also very funny and occasionally frightening.
The standard of acting is very high indeed. In lesser productions the towering performance of Michael Glenn Murphy as Dinny would dominate, yet he is matched brilliantly by the other actors.
Raymond Scannell as the Oedipal son Blake creates a heartbreaking character who has descended from a child who wanted to be an astronaut to an agoraphobe. Lacking a coherent personality he creepily absorbs the traits of other people.
Tadhg Murphy's tormented Sean tries to hold the fractured family together whilst aware that he can only postpone, not prevent, a tragedy. Mercy Ojelade presents Hayley as so startlingly normal and good-hearted that, in the presence of such an eccentric family, she appears hilarious. In spite of the amusingly limited props and costumes (again by Dargent) the cast are able to create a range of recognisably different characters in their homemade play.
The Walworth Farce is a strikingly original piece of work. As well as being a play within a play, it is a tragedy within a farce.