“You know you’re missing out on something,” blares an ’80s pop hit during Enda Walsh’s “Ballyturk.” Frankly, it’s easy to relate to that lyric during this 2014 play, directed by author. There are flashes when it’s funny and sad. But mostly it’s a mystery.
What’s going on? Who knows. But it’s going on in a room filled with clutter but without a door. That’s where high-speed rituals play out for two men — 1 (ponytailed charmer Tadhg Murphy) and 2 (burly clown Mikel Murphi). They shower and dress, gulp cereal, toss shoes, throw darts. They listen to fragments of chatter. They jibber-jabber about folks in the titular town. They dance to “The Look of Love.”
All the while, the look of confusion covered my face. Then, with a dramatic flourish, 3 (a quietly commanding Olwen Fouéré) enters. Between drags on a cigarette, 3 demands a cup of tea, grabs a mic and speaks of life and longevity and, finally, tells one of the men he’s got to leave.
Tadhg Murphy(l.) and Mikel Murphi have their go-to fun and games in the enigmatic “Ballyturk.”
What’s it all about? That’s never fully explained but intentionally left up in the air. But here’s the thing about a head-scratcher: It can also stimulate your brain. “Ballyturk” does.
Through Jan. 28 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn