New Electric Ballroom

This article is from 2008.

New Electric Ballroom

Love, loss and sad expressionism from Disco Pigs writer

If Karl Marx was right that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce, no one told Enda Walsh. He’s done it the other way around. After the riotous surrealism of last year’s Fringe First-winning The Walworth Farce, the playwright is back with a companion piece that’s in an altogether less ferocious vein. Where the earlier play was about three Irishmen in London obsessively re-enacting their life story, New Electric Ballroom is about two Irish sisters endlessly reliving an old love story to a ‘foley’ soundtrack created by their younger sister. But this time mad farce gives way to a sad expressionism.

‘Apart from the fact that they’re both about people using theatre within their house as a form of weird therapy, the approach is very different,’ says Walsh, who’s directing the play himself for Druid Theatre Company. ‘New Electric Ballroom is more to do with these three women trying to get to the root of what love is and what it means to lose love. They tell these stories about the night their hearts were broken by this ballroom singer. They’re old women, but they tell it like they were 18. It’s very simple, but there’s something cinematic about the scale of what they’re talking about.’
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 0131 228 1404, 3—24 Aug (not 4, 11, 18), various times, £16—£18 (£5—£12). Previews 30 Jul, 7pm; 2 Aug, 8.45pm, £11 (£5).

The New Electric Ballroom

Edna focuses on three sisters who have effectively locked themselves away from their tiny fishing village and from any sort of progress, and now exist in gaudy, festering stasis.

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