Many Irish plays that make it to Australian stages feature local actors doing (and sometimes struggling with) Irish accents.
But The Walworth Farce features three Irishmen and a London woman (playing a Londoner), so there is no possibility of Irish people in the audience being distracted by mispronounced words and wrong inflections.
Nor is there any excuse for Australians to not understand the Irish accents, Tadhg Murphy, who plays Seán in the play, told the Irish Echo.
“We certainly have to articulate a bit more when we’re over here, because we’re doing Cork accents,” he said. “But you hit certain words a bit harder so that you are being clear with them.”
Commissioned by Galway’s Druid Theatre Company, and written by Enda Walsh, The Walworth Farce premiered at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway four years ago and has since wowed audiences in Edinburgh, London, New York and now New Zealand and Australia too.
Murphy has been performing in the play for three years. How has it been received in Australia so far?
“It’s been great. Worldwide the reception has generally been the same, it gets a great reception wherever it is,” he says.
After three years of playing the same character do you ever find yourself on autopilot?
“Never on autopilot with this play, it’s not possible.
“What’s incredible about this play is that I’ve been doing it on and off for three years.
“But I’m still finding new things in it, which is a testament to the writing and also to the actors I’m working with and the director.
“It’s a testament to how deep the play is,” he said.
“It’s an extraordinary piece.
“It’s the kind of thing that after the first half you’ll be left wondering what is going on, and the second act delivers the sucker punch.”
It’s not just Murphy who raves about The Walworth Farce, critics are also very keen it seems.
“The Walworth Farce is as brilliant an original as you are likely to see in the theatre this year.
“It is exhilarating to hang on for dear life on a ride through Mr Walsh’s bold, original imagination,” said the New York Sun’s review.
Variety said it is “a theatrical experience that claws at the imagination for days afterwards”, while the New York Times reviewer found it “ferociously entertaining”.
Having already been staged in Perth, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle and Canberra, The Walworth Farce takes the stage at the Sydney Theatre from April 14 and runs until April 24 bringing to a close its epic record as the biggest ever world tour of an Irish play.