I went to the National Theatre in London yesterday to see a ‘platform’ by playwright Enda Walsh, who was discussing his new play on at the moment in the NT: Ballyturk. Tickets were surprisingly cheap, making for a thoroughly pleasant evening.
The platform itself was only 45 minutes long, but in that time Enda – and Dan Rebellato, with whom he was discussing the play – had my full attention. Walsh seems a lovely man, and it was very obvious from the way he spoke that he loved his job – and for a very good reason; he’s brilliant at what he does! Without trying to reveal anything to prospective audience members, he explained the ideas and themes behind his writing and directing of this play. (Unfortunately I haven’t got a ticket to see it…) One idea I found especially interesting was that although he had written the play for it to be performed, he seemed to understand and warmly accept that his work would be analysed (or “over analysed” as an audience member put it) by others, and would be interpreted differently, both by performers and readers . I have long wondered if writers are aware of this when they publish their work; it’s often said by both English and non-English students when analysing literature “but did the writer really mean that?” In fact, this picture nicely sums up this attitude:
My other favourite part of the evening was meeting Enda!! Aah! He was doing a book signing after the ‘platform’, so of course I bought a book and got him to sign it (when will I ever get this opportunity again, right?). So, I can now proudly say I have met, and spoken to, an internationally acclaimed playwright! I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading his plays – I’ve wanted to read more plays, rather than just those I read at school or for drama performances. I will write a post about them once I get round to reading them.