Review: The Walworth Farce

By John Nathan, October 3, 2008

Cottesloe, National Theatre, London SE1

The Irish father in Enda Walsh's funny and disturbing comedy tries to rewrite family history by forcing his two sons to perform repeatedly a play version of his life that hides the bloody crime he committed back in Cork.

It takes a good while for these facts to emerge. For the most part, Mikel Murfi's breathless production entertains with a seemingly endless ritual that sees Dinny (Denis Conway) and his emotionally stunted sons Sean (Tadhg Murphy) and Blake (Garrett Lombard) cavort around their council flat on South London's Walworth Road, performing their dad's barmy script. Contact with the outside world is forbidden, other than the daily shopping trip to Tesco where Sean, who yearns to escape his father's nightmare, has met a sweet checkout girl (Mercy Ojelade). When she turns up at the flat, the play turns from an eccentric farce into a chilling abduction drama. Theatre has always served as a form of escapism. Walsh depicts it as a form of imprisonment. (Tel: 020 7 452 3000)

Last updated: 5:08pm, October 2 2008