Friday 30 September 2016

Irish playwright Enda Walsh criticises UK media for 'lying' about Brexit

Published 09/07/2016 | 15:25

Playwright Enda Walsh.
Playwright Enda Walsh.
Enda Walsh with his wife, 'Financial Times' Fashion Editor Jo Ellison. Walsh is a man who is not afraid to ruffle feathers. Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure

IRISH playwright Enda Walsh who lives in London has criticised sections of the UK media for ‘lying’ to a public about Brexit.

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The playwright who has had global success with a string of hit plays including Misterman and Lazarus, in which he collaborated with David Bowie, said he wasn’t at all surprised by the vote.
 

He said people in the North of England had lived with five years of austerity and had been fed lines from the certain papers that it wasn’t down to Government policy but was the fault of immigrants.

“They’ve been really fed a lot of bloody lies but unfortunately they are the people who are really going to feel the recession in the next six years or so,” he added.

Mr Walsh said after the vote he and his wife discussed getting Irish passports for all their family.

“I don’t think we’re going to be going but it did feel on that day like what are we doing here, what are we living,” he said.

Enda Walsh with his wife, 'Financial Times' Fashion Editor Jo Ellison. Walsh is a man who is not afraid to ruffle feathers. Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure
Enda Walsh with his wife, 'Financial Times' Fashion Editor Jo Ellison. Walsh is a man who is not afraid to ruffle feathers. Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure

The playwright, whose latest play Arlington will debut at the Galway International Arts Festival, said the play was influenced by Syria and the streams of refugees forced to flee their homes.
“This play is a response to that feeling in the last six or seven years that the world has become a lot more polarised and it’s a lot scarier than what it was ten years ago, politically, I think.

“And having conversations with my daughter about Isis and Syria and immigrants and where these refugees are coming from and all of this...the piece has those themes in it and it’s about displaced people living in a world; the regime has pushed and decided the way people are going to be living now,” he added.

The playwright worked with David Bowie for 18 months on Lazarus just months before the singer’s death from cancer. He said while the experience was emotional it was also “really fun”.

“I found out two months into it that he had cancer but we knew what we were going to be writing about, we knew we were going to be writing something very personal so it was a real honour to be working with him and working on something like that; a man and his relationship with dying and death I think which is what it came out as.

“But he was an adorable, really really funny man and a great collaborator and really positive about the work. There was no ego to it,” he added.

Arlington runs at the Galway International Arts Festival. For more information see www.giaf.ie

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