Domhnall Gleeson feels that crackle in the air
Tell me about yourself and Enda Walsh’s plays. What about them?
I don’t really think I fully understand Enda, or haven’t taken the full dose of it until I see “The Walworth Farce”. What I saw in a small room in Galway. It blew my head off in a whole new way. I was deeply shocked.
He’s a father and two sons, and he makes them do this prank every day. And what we’re looking at is a day when the farce breaks down. They’ve been doing it for 15 years, 20 years, this farce, and this other person comes in among them, and things get messed up. I left like, rocked, really rocked. I had laughed so much, but I had never completely cried – like completely just cried, twice.
In a theater, have you never cried completely before?
No. I had been moved to tears, maybe, but not like that. Not the gaping mouth and the tears that flow while you were still engaged. And I was like, I don’t know what it is. Enda makes me react in a way I don’t understand, and I love that about him.
When people ask what “medicine” is, what do you say to them?
It’s a play in part about how we treat those we describe as mentally ill. And the role of empathy in there and the role of medicine, good and bad, in there, and the importance of care, you know, and love. I think that’s the basis of what it is. But that certainly doesn’t let you know in advance.
I mean, the lobster costume is a distraction.
[Laughs] Yeah, I know.
Your character, John, dreams of being invisible. Can you go out there and be an ordinary person around here, anonymous on the street?
There are days when you feel a lot more anonymous, in a pleasant way. I live near the theater so just seeing the skyline and smelling New York and everything, it’s amazing. Being able to walk around and feel like you’re just disappearing into the fabric of this is Magnificent. I love this. It makes me feel very young and reminds me of when I was back here when I was 22. I love to absorb this energy and I love the cold air. And then other days you kind of feel like “Oh, no”, aware that maybe people have recognized you.