Music: Mark-Anthony Turnage Libretto: Steven Berkoff based on his original stage play of the same title Adapted by: Mark-Anthony Turnage & Jonathan Moore
First performance: Saturday 2 July 2011 – Theatr Brycheiniog Brecon
The production was revived in 2013 and toured to venues in England and Wales and to the Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea.
CAST & CHARACTERS
Eddy Marcus Farnsworth
Eddy’s Mum / Waitress / Sphinx Sally Silver
Eddy’s Sister / Waitress who becomes Eddy’s Wife / Sphinx Louise Winter
Eddy’s Dad / Café Manager / Chief of Police Gwion Thomas
Michael Rafferty Conductor
Michael McCarthy Director
Simon Banham Designer
Ace McCarron Lighting Designer
"The enthusiastic applause the performance received was primarily a tribute to the force and brilliance of Mark Anthony Turnage’s incandescent score, blisteringly realised in a first-rate new production by Music Theatre Wales… Michael McCarthy’s staging is exemplary. A few chairs, a table and a television set (occasionally displaying redundant surtitles) placed in front of the orchestra make up the set. A flag of St George, emblematic of a dubious patriotism, covers the conductor’s podium. Everything seems openly improvised in Brechtian style, with no time or money wasted on elaborate scene changes."
"Beware it’s in yer face as never before…. Michael McCarthy’s new, minimalist production …. [is] a paring down, which… gloriously liberates Turnage’s most instinctive of scores to sound out the work’s true theatre of pity and fear. Marcus Farnsworth is the most convincing Eddy I’ve ever seen; he embodies the anguished, violently truth-seeking youth in a riveting performance. Gwion Thomas is no less engaging as dad, café manager and policemen. And Sally Silver as Eddy’s distraught Mum joins her voice with that of Louise Winter’s sensual Wife to form a two-headed Sphinx of virtuoso terror."
"There’s nothing complex about Music Theatre Wales’s new production: it’s sharp, direct and, of necessity, tragic. With the 18-piece ensemble hogging space behind, action is at the front of stage, an England flag draped on the podium. Eddy’s personal crusade is made vividly contemporary: football-driven, disaffection, London streets full of rubbish, musicians pounding baton shields ….… it’s a compliment to say it sometimes feels like an operatic EastEnders special – the Sphinx women sport Barbara Windsor wigs. The ketchup container proves iconic, and Turnage scores here."