How long have you been here, John?
I don’t know.
And what brought you here?
That’s difficult to answer.
Welcome to a work–in–progress showing of a new play by Enda Walsh. Medicine is a devastatingly funny and moving meditation on how, for decades, we have treated those we call mentally ill.
The stage directions say that the audience will be looking at a rehearsal space or perhaps a sound stage, a studio of some sort. Maybe it’s just a stage in a theatre. A man called John Kane is sitting on a hospital gurney, and very shortly a jazz percussionist, two women called Mary, a very old man and a giant lobster will arrive.
Then everything will start.
This work–in–progress showing features a sensational cast – Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Domhnall Gleeson, accompanied by Sean Carpio – as Enda Walsh once again shines a light on the darkest corners of our collective stories. Working with his regular team of world–class collaborators – designers Jamie Vartan [set], Adam Silverman [lighting], Helen Atkinson [sound], Joan O’Clery [costume] and composer Teho Teardo – the production will premiere at GIAF 2021.
Enda Walsh’s recent work includes the musical Sing Street;the stage adaptation of Max Porter’s book Grief is the Thing with Feathers; The Same; The Second Violinist, an opera with Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy; the musical Lazarus, written with David Bowie; and the ongoing immersive theatre installations Rooms, made with Paul Fahy. He won a Tony Award for writing the book of the musical Once.