By Enda Walsh
Directed by Charles Compton
Enda Walsh’s play offers fascinating insights into the lives of a group of sisters in rural Ireland. The two older sisters, Breda and Clara, look back to the 1950s when, in their youth, the place to go to meet boys was the New Electric Ballroom. They relive this period by retelling anecdotes from this period and dressing in the costume and looks of the time. There are hidden tensions as rivalry from that time emerges as the play develops with an unexpected twist at its end.
Another sister, Ada, who will be a generation younger, completes the family who for some unexplained reason seem to run a Fish and Chip shop.
Patsy is the male interest in the play; he should be of an age to be a credible suitor to Ada for whom he holds a torch. He delivers fish to the sisters and often outstays his welcome. He needs to sing a song (Wondrous Place recorded by Billy Fury)) towards the end which tees up the twist…
The age specified in the script suggests 60s for the two older sisters but that can be very flexible as long as the dynamic with Ada and Patsy is there.
This play is a dark comedy, exploring sibling rivalry both current and historic. The actors will need good Irish accents. Everyone changes on set into the fifties gear and the girls make each other up with comic and unsympathetic effect.
For the audition, as the play is only 40 pages long, I thought that we will go through the whole play as there are plenty of long speeches for everyone and you will get a good feel for the piece and the opportunity to swap roles around.