Closed 1h 30m
Ballyturk
Brooklyn
80

Ballyturk NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(35 Reviews)
Positive
80%
Mixed
20%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious, Profound, Confusing

About the Show

St. Ann's Warehouse presents the US premiere of Enda Walsh's ('Once') enigmatic, two-person drama about two men whose lives unravel quickly over the course of 90 minutes.

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Member Reviews (35)

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83
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy the expressionist, dystopian fables of Enda Walsh, sometimes disarming, often challenging, but always riveting, artful & touching.

Don't see it if you don't think you'll dig an abstract mashup of Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Sartre's No Exit, Emma Donoghue's "Room" & Morecambe and Wise.

79
Ambitious, Great acting, Funny, Dizzying, Indulgent

See it if You're a fan of Enda Walsh & contemporary Irish theater, enjoy Beckett-like plots, like visceral, physical acting and awe-inspiring endings

Don't see it if You don't like frantic, bizarrely verbal plays, don't like plots that despite insane activity seem to be static, spiritual or focus on death

Critic Reviews (15)

January 14th, 2018

"The dark and enigmatic cosmic farce...'Ballyturk' is so verbally dense that it’s possible to be hypnotized, if not numbed, by some of its lush spoken arias. Even at 90 minutes, it would be better shorter...As a director, Walsh knows how to weave a web of images that defy language. And he infuses them with a kinetic charge...But no matter your immediate response to 'Ballyturk,' it is likely to take up residence in your thoughts after you’ve seen it."
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January 14th, 2018

"Walsh crams big themes into small spaces...After immersing us in this busily static space—Beckett on uppers—Walsh pulls it down with the dramatic arrival of 3 (the magnetic Fouéré)...What this deliberately mysterious play 'means' is left to the audience to imagine. To me, it feels like a theatrical metaphor about the attractions and limits of theater itself; your mileage may vary, but Walsh offers plenty to consider and enjoy along the road."
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January 15th, 2018

“Thrilling...A wild, devastating cry from a playwright who’s both celebrating the small miracle of humankind’s creative impulse and interrogating its ultimate usefulness...A play full of stunning monologues...Walsh turns theatrical examinations of stuckness into exegeses on the art of playmaking. Theater is uniquely good at talking about, eviscerating, celebrating itself — and in 'Ballyturk' you can sense Walsh’s fear that perhaps, in the face of real life’s chaos, that’s all it’s good for.”
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January 15th, 2018

"There are flashes when it’s funny and sad. But mostly it’s a mystery...What’s it all about? That’s never fully explained but intentionally left up in the air. But here’s the thing about a head-scratcher: It can also stimulate your brain. 'Ballyturk' does."
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January 16th, 2018

"As enigmatic, exhilarating, nonsensical, and frustrating as Samuel Beckett's masterpiece...Though Walsh isn't adding any particularly new insight into the theatrical conversation about life, death, and everything in between, once we see the direction in which he's going, we are able to focus more on what's important. The work, too, finds a nice little center, and there is an unexpected poignancy that follows as Murphy and Murfi confront all of the feelings they thought they'd forgotten."
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January 14th, 2018

"Seems to operate on the theory that if a bit of nonsense is amusing, a shipping container's worth is even better. This is not to denigrate the total commitment and skill of the two actors...As 'Ballyturk' begins to acquire a dramatic profile, it also comes to resemble a compendium of absurdist drama tropes…Shuttles between the inexplicable and the derivative, it may be worth seeing if only to catch Fouéré...She very nearly transforms this willfully strange piece into a meaningful experience."
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January 16th, 2018

“A dark comedy...An existential drama about friendship and all the personal sacrifices, large and small, that it can demand from an individual...It is amazing to see Murfi do his frenetic comedy routines on stage, while infusing a genuine humanity...Equally mesmerizing is Murphy, whose physical agility and sensitive acting as Character One terrifically complements Murfi's...Fouere delivers a commanding performance...‘Ballyturk’ at St. Ann's might just convert you into a Walsh fan.”
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January 16th, 2018

"While there is an often frustrating incoherence, this does not diminish the emotional punch thrown by the performance’s climax...Murfi is fantastic...As goofy in 'Ballyturk' as he is devastating...‘Ballyturk’ elicits more questions than it answers in its 95 minutes running time...Be prepared to be thrown off your axis. It is a noteworthy experience, but you’ll land a bit disoriented when the house lights go up.”
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January 14th, 2018

"'Ballyturk' isn’t easily explained, nor do we even need to in order to take in the pleasure of viewing such a wildly captivating creation. We just need to give ourselves over to the bleak oddness, and enjoy…This incredibly well staged production brings to mind the classic absurdism of the powerful and dark ‘Waiting For Godot.’ It tantalizes with its abstract creationism and vagueness…Walsh has found the best of both worlds, puzzling our head, while also engaging our hearts."
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January 20th, 2018

“'Ballyturk'…challenges audiences to break through its surrealistic shield to pick up whatever crumbs of meaning it may now and then deign to share…Walsh's dreamlike combination of slapstick farce, ritual, violence, dance, music, mime, intellectual abstraction, colloquially accessible and lyrically poetic dialogue, Beckettian overtones…, and narrative confusion is performed…with such exceptional conviction that the play's meaning becomes secondary to its physical and vocal expression.”
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January 17th, 2018

“Walsh churns out careening, logorrheic scripts that spurn narrative cohesion and embrace a gritty, athletic staging...We never quite grasp the specific relationship between the men...To lighten the mood, Walsh choreographs nutty dance sequences...Walsh explores the limitations of descriptive language and the perilous gap between imagination and reality...One can’t really grumble that Walsh shirks meaning when, in fact, he bashes it on the nose.”
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January 14th, 2018

"In the drama’s most heartbreaking moment, Murphy’s character recites the names of Ballyturk’s inhabitants, while Murfi’s character impersonates them in rapid succession...The most frightening moment is Fouere’s spectacular entrance...In other words, the best moments in 'Ballyturk' have more to do with Walsh’s direction of his play than what he’s given his characters to say...As a director, Walsh is visceral and vivid. As a writer, he enjoys being obscure."
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March 9th, 2017
For a previous production

"The play is closer to a meditation on death; that undiscovered country...Fouéré’s is a fascinating performance...The manic energy of 'Ballyturk’s' routine, excellently delivered by Murfi and Murphy’s double act, stills with her arrival and a proposal: It’s time for one of them to leave. What they would be departing in 'Ballyturk' is a world of cartoonish exaggeration, tumbling with madcap fictions, avalanches of props and shrieking impersonations - in short, an Enda Walsh play."
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March 9th, 2017
For a previous production

"Wild, zany, dark, and hilarious, 'Ballyturk’s' march through the mayhem of Walsh’s imagination boldly goes where other scripts fear to go. And when it gets there it is very, very good indeed. But when it misses the mark, it can be something of a struggle...It’s still more potent than many other works out there...At its best, 'Ballyturk' is theatrical poetry steeped in sense, nonsense, image, and metaphor...A uniquely powerful theatrical experience."
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March 11th, 2017
For a previous production

"The play is essentially a piece of meta-Walsh, a comment on his own writing practice, one that cannibalizes his earlier themes, characters and motifs. At times, it’s a riot. But the strongest sense of the piece now, three years on, is as a staging post: the work of a writer coming to the end of one approach, and about to begin another...Where Rea was sardonic and innately funny, Fouere plays it straight and humorless. Again, it’s simply not as effective this time round."
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