Cillian Murphy in Another Play by Enda Walsh – Ballyturk

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Click this image to see more post on Monthly Murphy

My favorite actor is working together again (for the third time) with Enda Walsh in a play called Ballyturk. And once again it is a play with few actors on the stage. Based on what I read, there are 3 actors: Cillian Murphy, Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea (but I haven’t yet understood what is his part in the play).


Here’s a bit about the play taken from the official site of Ballyturk

I thought we knew everything there was to know.

The lives of two men unravel quickly over the course of 90 minutes.  Where are they?  Who are they?  What room is this, and what might be beyond the walls?

Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival are proud to present the world premiere of a major new play by Enda Walsh.

Cillian Murphy, who last appeared on stage in a sensational solo performance in Enda Walsh’s Misterman, stars alongside Walsh’s long-time collaborator Mikel Murfi, and the internationally-acclaimed film and theatre actor Stephen Rea.

Reuniting the creative team that was responsible for Misterman, the production will be directed by Enda Walsh with sets and costumes designed by Jamie Vartan and lighting by Adam Silverman. Sound will be designed by Helen Atkinson, with original music composed by Teho Teardo.

Gut-wrenchingly funny and achingly sad, and featuring jaw-dropping moments of physical comedy, Ballyturk is an ambitious, profound and tender work from one of Ireland’s leading playwrights.


An interview with Enda Walsh in

“Of course. That’s what we are as people,” thought Walsh. “We just sort of exist, very simply, in our own little universes.” Slowly, an idea for a play began to take form. How can people live a regular life if they know they are just a heartbeat away from oblivion? And what would happen if two adult friends, played by Cillian Murphy and Mikel Murfi, experienced his daughter’s dramatic realisation? How would they go on?”


What Cillian thought about playing in theatre again (from

“I’m thrilled to be working with Enda on his amazing new play Ballyturk and to work with Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea and the Misterman creative team.”

Although it’s impossible for me to see it as I am so far away from Ireland and England but I can still share the dates if anyone living wants to see it (I would love to but I can’t 😦 ):

  • at Galway International Arts Festival; 10 – 27 July 2014
  • at Olympia Theatre, Dublin; 1 – 23 August 2014
  • at Cork Opera House, Cork; 26 – 30 August 2014
  • at National Theatre, London; 11 September – 11 October 2014

Even though I never get a chance to see him on stage but it always thrills me knowing that he keeps on playing on stage. He keeps on being the kind of actor I adore. His interview with Enda Walsh ( showed how much he appreciate the life of acting on stage. Here are the highlight of the interview: (you can read the whole interview at


Enda Walsh is the one interviewing Cillian

Enda Walsh: There’s something about acting: you feel if you stay in the same space long enough, you’ll get better.

Cillian: Someone said it takes 30 years to make a good actor. That made sense. I had youthful confidence starting out, but technically didn’t know what I was doing. Then you start working, reading, broaden your mind, understand the craft, get some maturity, life experience… It takes a while to become a good actor.

‘Disco Pigs’ was formative for all of us: we’d made this work that was a part of us, about the city, our stamp on it. The heart of it came from you two [Cillian and Eileen Walsh]. It was shaped around your incredible energy.

I’ve done other theatre since: Chekhov, Synge, stuff like that. But I think you spoiled me. Or corrupted me! ‘Disco Pigs’ was visceral, physical… you’d come out exhausted, emotionally and physically. And hopefully the audience were changed in some way.

Between 1996 and now, do you feel your gut instinct is the same?

I don’t know. Working in film or television is completely different to theatre. I had to hone different muscles for screen work. What I missed from theatre — the sort you make — was acting with your whole body. In film, it’s mostly close-up. You’re watching a person think. On-stage, it’s whole-body. It’s an amazing gift, to do that. I’ll always want to, it’s so liberating. In theatre, everything is a ‘wide-shot’.

Our ‘close-up’ is stillness. You run yourself into the ground, the audience gasps, and then… stop. Then that stillness begins to break; things start moving. You and Mikel in ‘Ballyturk’, you’re putting so much pressure on the self, you can’t take it anymore. You have to stop, and start using the head. Life might be simpler if we didn’t have bodies. I love exploring that stuff. It’s fascinating. You and Mikel are very funny. Physically, you do funny things, gags, walks. You never get to do that in film.

Never! I don’t get sent funny scripts. That’s fine, I don’t particularly want to. But people say, ‘You never do comedy’ — actually I do a lot on-stage. I love doing it. We all enjoy it; that stupid, funny stuff.

You have incredible energy; I watch you in films and think, ‘How does he not go insane waiting around on set?’ How do you switch off that energy when filming?

I find it tricky. The old adage, ‘They pay you for waiting around, the acting is free’.
It’s a discipline I’ve had to learn. You expend energy some other way — running, whatever. It’s hard. But I understand the principle of film-making: capturing tiny moments, giving them to the director, who assembles the film out of those. Obviously you can only play those moments, whereas in theatre, you play the whole story — and with an audience there.
I never know how things will turn out in film. If you’re not the lead, you might not even be in it. Sometimes it can be extraordinary — sometimes it’s shit! With theatre, you’re right there. Also, in film, you’re limpet-like attached to the director, this  constant close exchange. With theatre, once the show is up, it’s up. The director might see new things during performances, but it’s in the actors’ hands. We have to manage it.

It feels as though the play always existed. Written by our friendships over the years, and we sort of tripped over it. What about the future — will you want to direct?

No, I could never direct theatre. I just don’t have it. As a player, I understand the fourth wall, but can’t visualise it as a director. I understand how to shoot a movie, or telly, but not theatre. I don’t have your confidence, maybe. You’ve always known, innately, what would hit an audience.

How has fame impacted on your work?

Fame is completely outside me; I’ve no control over it, and no interest. All I’ve ever  tried to do is make worthwhile work, and improve as a performer. That other stuff  is just noise. It’s inconsequential. At the same time, I recognise we have to do press,  because we want to sell a product. I understand the relationship between art and  commerce. But it’s still about the four of us in a rehearsal room.

And you know what, fame has never impinged on my life negatively — because I’ve chosen to live a certain way. People think it’s difficult to remain private, but it’s easy. Stay at home! Be with your friends. It’s that easy.


I really wish I can see his play, at least once, but right now it’s impossible … but I wouldn’t say never because dream can come true somehow 😉

Myriam De La Torre (@dulcemirita) will see the play, she was fortunate to see Misterman and meet Cillian. I am thinking of asking her to write about the play and be a guest author here…hope she’ll say yes 😉

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