Title: The Ginger Ale Boy
Writer: Enda Walsh
Setting: The set is dominated by two large staircases that sweep dramatically into a small boy's box bedroom.
The Ginger Ale Boy was first performed by Corcadorca Theatre Company at the Granary Theatre, Cork, on 30th March, 1995.
Also chorus, dancers, members of the community.
The Ginger Ale Boy is a short one-act play, a Cork-based cabaret about a ventriloquist who looses control. The story follows the life of a boy named Bobby, a wannabe showbiz star. He lives with his pushy Liverpudlian mother and his immobile and silent father. Bobby is trying to free himself from the seedy end of light entertainment. His manager is a bisexual transvestite, who secures him a slot on a TV talent show but fear wins out in the end.
The Ginger Ale Boy is Enda Walsh’s first play. It certainly has some promise and you can see the early signs of the great playwright he would later become.
This play has remained unpublished until recently, when it was published in a collection with some of his better-known plays, such as: Disco Pigs, Bedbound and Chatroom. The Ginger Ale Boy is not a strong piece of work- it’s very fragmented. This is mainly due to Walsh trying to accommodate a young company made up of actors, musicians and dancers. Enda Walsh says himself in the foreword: “The Ginger Ale Boy’s a mess but it has some ability in there.”
I’m not recommending this play as a potential for you to produce, as I believe it was created with a particular group of people in mind. I read it merely to see where this ‘Tony award winning’ writer had started, and it’s heartening to see that it took time for him to find his true voice, a voice which can be heard in plays like: Misterman, The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom or indeed in his screenplay Hunger. I’m a real fan of his work and look forward to the next installment.
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