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New Electric Ballroom Heads to National???

The Walworth Farce, the play that Enda Walsh premiered at the Traverse Theatre at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, receives it London premiere next month at the National Theatre, where it joins the NT Cottesloe rep from 24 September 2008 (previews from 18 September). And there’s every chance that The New Electric Ballroom, the play that the Irishman has brought to the Traverse for this year’s Fringe, will follow the same route South.

The companion pieces have a lot more in common than that, too. Both plays concern the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives – and what happens when we become stuck in them. The Walworth Farce is set in a flat occupied by three Irish men on the Walworth Road in London; The New Electric Ballroom centres on three Irish women trapped in a house in a small fishing village. Walworth is directed by Mikel Murfi, who appears – alongside Rosaleen Linehan, Val Lilley and Catherine Walsh – in Ballroom.

What else? Well, both plays have won Fringe Firsts in Edinburgh – Ballroom was in Friday’s first round of prizes at this year’s festival (See News, 8 Aug 2008) - and both are staged care of the Galway-based Druid Theatre company. Founded in 1975, Druid was the first professional theatre company in Ireland outside Dublin. Druid has successfully championed numerous Irish playwrights, bringing them to international recognition, including Tom Murphy and Martin McDonagh. Enda Walsh’s other plays include Disco Pigs, Bedbound and Chatroom.


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