The 2009 Theatre Communications Group publication of Enda Walsh’s two plays, The New Electric Ballroom and The Walworth Farce, is a double-sided edition; on one cover, a smiling woman in fifties garb is pictured riding jauntily on a bicycle. Flip to the other side, and a black-and-white photograph of a grimacing man flexing a mighty bicep is featured. In his New York Times review of The New Electric Ballroom, Charles Isherwood noted, “In both plays the bonds of family are kept pulled tight — to the point of strangulation, more or less — by the continual reenactment of a shared mythology that has become a sort of sacred text, although in the case of the newer play, the tone is bleaker, and the family is female.” Both works exemplify Walsh’s fascination with storytelling; The New Electric Ballroom explores the traditional oratorical mode of storytelling so often featured in Walsh’s plays (Bedbound, The Small Things, Penelope), whereas The Walworth Farce extends this tradition of storytelling into a self-conscious metatheatricality. Both modes of performance – storytelling and metatheatricality – are employed in delineating the theatricalist notion of the "Real" and the "Illusory." This binary consists of a world within (or without) the play that constitutes the theatrical incarnation of the "real world", which is highlighted by and contrasted to the "illusory world". Of course this is contrasted against the Real of the theatre itself with its seats and audience, and the Illusory of the playworld with its sets and actors.
|Title of host publication||The Theatre of Enda Walsh|
|Editors||Mary Caulfield, Ian R. Walsh|
|Place of Publication||Dublin|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Contemporary Irish Theatre
- Walworth Farce
- New Electric Ballroom
- Enda Walsh
Dean, T. (2015). Real Versus Illusory in Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. In M. Caulfield, & I. R. Walsh (Eds.), The Theatre of Enda Walsh (pp. 119-130). Dublin: Carysfort Press.