How it’s New York: At New York’s Irish Arts Center
How it’s Irish: By Irish playwright Enda Walsh
On a dreary New York afternoon this past Saturday I took a diversion for an hour into the “Rooms” of playwright Enda Walsh. The piece, running at Cybert Tire on 11th Avenue, the future home of the Irish Arts Center, is contained in three plain white boxes which house the story and belongings of 3 different people.
The audience is encouraged to enter the rooms and explore, touch and take in the items in the room. An audio track plays giving each story in the voices of the inhabitants: a woman in her kitchen, a child in her bedroom and a man in a hotel room.
Much like being in an art gallery, we wandered around the environments looking to see what they told us of the people that Walsh wanted to show us. The stories are a bit sad and stark, but you do get a sense of these people and the lives they have lived in these spaces.
The attention to detail in the creation of the rooms is marvelous, with many items that have obviously been brought over from Ireland to give authenticity to the place, especially in the kitchen room. Lighting and sound are used to great effect to punctuate the pieces. The recorded vocal performances from Charlie Murphy as the Young Girl, Niall Buggy as the Man in Room 303 and Eileen Walsh as the Woman in the Kitchen are haunting and with the poetry of Enda Walsh’s script paint vivid pictures of these three individuals.
Presented in conjunction with the Galway Arts Festival, “Rooms” has just been extended through June 4
and you can order tickets here: Irish Arts Center tickets