|Born||9 January 1929|
Knockmoyle, Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
|Died||2 October 2015 86) (aged|
Greencastle, County Donegal, Ireland
|Education|| St. Patrick's College, Maynooth (BA, 1949)|
St. Joseph's Training College, Belfast (1950)
|Alma mater||St Columb's College|
|Notable works|| Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964)|
Faith Healer (1979)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1990)
|Notable awards||• Tony Award Nominations:|
Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1966)
• NY Drama Critics Circle Award (1989)
• Olivier Award (1991)
• Writers' Guild of Britain Award (1991)
• Tony Award for Best Play for
Dancing at Lughnasa (1992)
• Saoi of Aosdána (2006)
Anne Morrison(m. 1954–2015)(his death)
Brian Patrick Friel(9 January 1929 – 2 October 2015) was an Irish dramatist, short story writer and founder of the Field Day Theatre Company. He had been considered one of the greatest living English-language dramatists. He has been likened to an "Irish Chekhov" and described as "the universally accented voice of Ireland". His plays have been compared favourably to those of contemporaries such as Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams.
The Field Day Theatre Company began as an artistic collaboration between playwright Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea. In 1980, the duo set out to launch a production of Friel's recently completed play, Translations. They decided to rehearse and premiere the play in Derry with the hope of establishing a major theatre company for Northern Ireland. The production and performance of Translations generated a level of excitement and anticipation that unified, if only for a short time, the various factions of a divided community.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. A resident of Paris for most of his adult life, he wrote in both English and French.
Recognised for early works such as Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Faith Healer , Friel had 24 plays published in a career of more than a half-century. He was elected to the honorary position of Saoi of Aosdána. His plays were commonly produced on Broadway in New York City throughout this time, as well as in Ireland and the UK.In 1980 Friel co-founded Field Day Theatre Company and his play Translations was the company's first production. With Field Day, Friel collaborated with Seamus Heaney, 1995 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Heaney and Friel first became friends after Friel sent the young poet a letter following publication of his book Death of a Naturalist.
Philadelphia, Here I Come! is a 1964 play by Irish dramatist Brian Friel. Set in the fictional town of Ballybeg, County Donegal, the play launched Friel onto the international stage.
Faith Healer is a play by Brian Friel about the life of the faith healer Francis Hardy as monologued through the shifting memories of Hardy, his wife, Grace, and stage manager, Teddy.
Saoi is the highest honour bestowed by Aosdána, a state-supported association of Irish creative artists. The title is awarded for life and held by at most seven people at a time. The limit was increased from five in 2007–08. At the conferring ceremony, a torc is presented to the Saoi, typically by the President of Ireland.
Friel was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.He was appointed to Seanad Éireann in 1987 and served until 1989. In later years, Dancing at Lughnasa reinvigorated Friel's oeuvre, bringing him Tony Awards (including Best Play), the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. It was also adapted into a film, starring Meryl Streep, directed by Pat O'Connor, script by Frank McGuinness.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters is a 250-member honor society; its goal is to "foster, assist, and sustain excellence" in American literature, music, and art. Located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, it shares Audubon Terrace, a complex on Broadway between West 155th and 156th Streets, with the Hispanic Society of America and Boricua College.
The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) is a learned society founded in 1820, by King George IV, to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent". The society is a cultural tenant at London's Somerset House.
Seanad Éireann is the upper house of the Oireachtas, which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann.
Friel was born in 1929 at Knockmoyle, close to Omagh, County TyroneHis father was Patrick Friel, a primary school teacher and later a councillor on Londonderry Corporation, the local city council in Derry. Friel's mother was Mary née McLoone, postmistress of Glenties, County Donegal. The family moved to Derry when Friel was ten years old. There he attended St Columb's College (the same school attended by Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Seamus Deane, Phil Coulter, Eamonn McCann and Paul Brady).
Knockmoyle is a hamlet and townland approximately 8 kilometres northwest of Omagh in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 census the Knockmoyle area had 141 households and a population of 329. It has a post office, church and public house. The nearby River Strule is well known for its trout fishing. Other attractions nearby include the Gortin Glens Forest Park and the Ulster American Folk Park. The Ulster Way walking route passes through Knockmoyle.
Omagh is the county town of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is situated where the rivers Drumragh and Camowen meet to form the Strule. Northern Ireland's capital city Belfast is 68 miles (109.5 km) to the east of Omagh, and Derry is 34 miles (55 km) to the north.
County Tyrone is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties on the island of Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.
Friel received his B.A. from St Patrick's College, Maynooth (1945–48), and qualified as a teacher at St Joseph's Training College in Belfast, 1949–50. He married Anne Morrison in 1954, with whom he had four daughters and one son. Between 1950 and 1960, he worked as a Maths teacher in the Derry primary and intermediate school system, taking leave in 1960 to pursue a career as writer, living off his savings. In the late 1960s, the Friels moved from Derry to Muff, County Donegal, before settling outside Greencastle, County Donegal.
St Patrick's College, Maynooth, is the "National Seminary for Ireland", and a Pontifical University, located in the village of Maynooth, 24 km (15 mi) from Dublin, Ireland.
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and second-largest on the island of Ireland, after Dublin. It had a population of 333,871 as of 2015.
Greencastle, is a commercial fishing port located in the north of the Inishowen Peninsula on the north coast of County Donegal, Ireland on Lough Foyle. Nowadays, given the decline in the fishing industry, it resembles more closely a 'typical' Donegal holiday village. It is located a few miles from Moville and is about 20 miles from Derry. Greencastle's name comes from the castle in the area, which, in turn, may have derived its name from the green freestone with which it was built. The castle, originally built by the Anglo-Normans, is also known as Northburgh Castle.
Friel supported Irish nationalism and was a member of the Nationalist Party.
Irish nationalism is a nationalist political movement which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. Irish nationalism celebrates the culture of Ireland, especially the Irish language, literature, music, and sports. It grew more potent during the period in which all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, which led to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921.
The Nationalist Party was the continuation of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), and was formed after partition, by the Northern Ireland-based members of the IPP.
After a long illness Friel died on 2 October 2015 in Greencastle, County Donegal.He was survived by his wife Anne and children Mary, Judy, Sally and David. Another daughter, Patricia, predeceased him.
A common setting for Friel's plays is in or around the fictional town of "Ballybeg" (from the Irish Baile Beag, meaning "Small Town").There are fourteen such plays: Philadelphia, Here I Come! , Crystal and Fox , The Gentle Island , Living Quarters , Faith Healer , Aristocrats , Translations , The Communication Cord , Dancing at Lughnasa , Wonderful Tennessee , Molly Sweeney , Give Me Your Answer Do! and The Home Place , while the seminal event of Faith Healer takes place in the town. These plays present an extended history of this imagined community, with Translations and The Home Place set in the nineteenth century, and Dancing at Lughnasa in the 1930s. With the other plays set in "the present" but written throughout the playwright's career from the early 1960s through the late 1990s, the audience is presented with the evolution of rural Irish society, from the isolated and backward town that Gar flees in the 1964 Philadelphia, Here I Come! to the prosperous and multicultural small city of Molly Sweeney (1994) and Give Me Your Answer Do! (1997), where the characters have health clubs, ethnic restaurants, and regular flights to the world's major cities.
Friel's first radio plays were produced by Ronald Mason for the BBC Northern Ireland Home Service in 1958: A Sort of Freedom (16 January 1958) and To This Hard House (24 April 1958).Friel began writing short stories for The New Yorker in 1959 and subsequently published two well-received collections: The Saucer of Larks (1962) and The Gold in the Sea (1966). These were followed by A Doubtful Paradise, his first stage play, produced by the Ulster Group Theatre in late August 1960. Friel also wrote 59 articles for The Irish Press, a Dublin-based party-political newspaper, from April 1962 to August 1963; this series included short stories, political editorials on life in Northern Ireland and Donegal, his travels to Dublin and New York City, and his childhood memories of Derry, Omagh, Belfast, and Donegal.
Early in Friel's career, the Irish journalist Sean Ward even referred to him in an Irish Press article as one of the Abbey Theatre's "rejects". Friel's play, The Enemy Within (1962) enjoyed success, despite only being on Abbey stage for 9 performances. Belfast's Lyric Theatre revived it in September 1963 and the BBC Northern Ireland Home Service and Radio Éireann both aired it in 1963. Although Friel later withdrew The Blind Mice (1963), it was by far his most successful play of his very early period, playing for 6 weeks at Dublin's Eblana Theatre, revived by the Lyric, and broadcast by Radio Éireann and the BBC Home Service almost ten times by 1967. Friel had a short stint as "observer" at Tyrone Guthrie's theater in early-1960s Minneapolis; he remarked on it as "enabling" in that it gave him "courage and daring to attempt things".
Shortly after returning from his time at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Friel wrote Philadelphia Here I Come! (1964). The play made him instantly famous in Dublin, London, and New York.The Loves of Cass McGuire (1966), and Lovers (1967) were both successful in Ireland, with Lovers also popular in The United States. Despite Friel's successes in playwriting, Friel in the period saw himself as primarily a short story writer, in a 1965 interview stating, "I don't concentrate on the theatre at all. I live on short stories."
Friel then turned his attention to the politics of the day, releasing The Mundy Scheme (1969) and Volunteers (1975), both pointed, the first bitter, satires on Ireland's government. The latter stages an archaeological excavation on the day before the site is turned over to a hotel developer, and uses Dublin's Wood Quay controversy as its contemporary point of reference. In that play, the Volunteers are IRA prisoners who have been indefinitely interned by the Dublin government, and the term Volunteer is both ironic, in that as prisoners they have no free will, and political, in that the IRA used the term to refer to its members. Using the site as a physical metaphor for the nation's history, the play's action examines how Irish history has been commodified, sanitized, and oversimplified to fit the political needs of society.
In 1968 Friel was living in Derry City, a hotbed of the Irish Civil Rights Movement, where incidents such as the Battle of the Bogside inspired Friel's choice to write a new play set in Derry.The play Friel began drafting in Derry would become, The Freedom of the City. Friel, defying a British government ban, marched with the Civil Rights Association against the policy of internment. The protest Friel took part in was the infamous Bloody Sunday protests of 1972. In a 1983 interview, Friel spoke of how his personal experience of being fired upon by British soldiers during the Bloody Sunday riot, greatly affected the drafting of The Freedom of the City as a political play. Friel in speaking of the incident, recalled, "It was really a shattering experience that the British army, this disciplined instrument, would go in as they did that time and shoot thirteen people...to have to throw yourself on the ground because people are firing at you is really a terrifying experience."
By the mid 1970s, Friel had moved away from overtly political plays to examine family dynamics in a manner that has attracted many comparisons to the work of Chekhov.Living Quarters (1977), a play that examines the suicide of a domineering father, is a retelling of the Theseus/Hippolytus myth in a contemporary Irish setting. This play, with its focus on several sisters and their ne'er-do-well brother, serves as a type of preparation for Friel's more successful Aristocrats (1979), a Chekhovian study of a once-influential family's financial collapse and, perhaps, social liberation from the aristocratic myths that have constrained the children. Aristocrats was the first of three plays premiered over a period of eighteen months which would come to define Friel's career as a dramatist, the others being Faith Healer (1979) and Translations (1980).
Faith Healer is a series of four conflicting monologues delivered by dead and living characters who struggle to understand the life and death of Frank Hardy, the play's itinerant healer who can neither understand nor command his unreliable powers, and the lives sacrificed to his destructive charismatic life.Many of Friel's earlier plays had incorporated assertively avant garde techniques: splitting the main character Gar into two actors in Philadelphia, Here I Come!, portraying dead characters in "Winners" of Lovers,Freedom, and Living Quarters, a Brechtian structural alienation and choric figures in Freedom of the City, metacharacters existing in a collective unconscious Limbo in Living Quarters. These experiments came to fruition in Faith Healer. Later in Friel's career, such experimental aspects became buried beneath the surface of more seemingly realist plays like Translations (1980) and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990); however, avant-garde techniques remain a fundamental aspect of Friel's work into his late career.
Translations was premiered in 1980 at Guildhall, Derry by the Field Day Theatre Company,with Stephen Rea, Liam Neeson, and Ray MacAnally. Set in 1833, it is a play about language, the meeting of English and Irish cultures, the looming potato famine, the coming of a free national school system that will eliminate the traditional hedge schools, the English expedition to convert all Irish place names into English, and the crossed love between an Irish woman who speaks no English and an English soldier who speaks no Irish. It was an instant success. The innovative conceit of the play is to stage two language communities (the Gaelic and the English), which have few and very limited ways to speak to each other, for the English know no Irish, while only a few of the Irish know English. Translations went on to be one of the most translated and staged of all plays in the latter 20th century, performed in Estonia, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, along with most of the world's English-speaking countries (including South Africa, Canada, the U.S. and Australia). It won the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for 1985. Neil Jordan completed a screenplay for a film version of Translations that was never produced. Friel commented on Translations: "The play has to do with language and only language. And if it becomes overwhelmed by that political element, it is lost."
Despite growing fame and success, the 1980s is considered Friel's artistic "Gap" as he published so few original works for the stage: Translations in 1980, The Communication Cord in 1982, and Making History in 1988. Privately, Friel complained both of the work required managing Field Day (granting written and live interviews, casting, arranging tours, etc.) and of his fear that he was "trying to impose a 'Field Day' political atmosphere" on his work. However, this is also a period during which he worked on several minor projects that fill out the decade: a translation of Chekhov's Three Sisters (1981), an adaptation of Turgenev's novel Fathers and Sons (1987), an edition of Charles McGlinchey's memoirs entitled The Last of the Name for Blackstaff Press (1986), and Charles Macklin's play The London Vertigo in 1990. Friel's decision to premiere Dancing at Lughnasa at the Abbey Theatre rather than as a Field Day production initiated his evolution away from involvement with Field Day, and he formally resigned as a director in 1994.
Friel returned to a position of Irish theatrical dominance during the 1990s, particularly with the release of Dancing at Lughnasa at the turn of the decade. Partly modelled on The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, it is set in the late summer of 1936 and loosely based on the lives of Friel's mother and aunts who lived in Glenties, on the west coast of Donegal.Probably Friel's most successful play, it premiered at the Abbey Theatre, transferred to London's West End, and went on to Broadway. On Broadway it won three Tony Awards in 1992, including Best Play. A film version, starring Meryl Streep, soon followed.
Friel had been thinking about writing a "Lough Derg" play for several years, and his Wonderful Tennessee (less of a critical success after its premiere in 1993 when compared to other plays from this time) portrays three couples in their failed attempt to return to a pilgrimage sit to a small island off the Ballybeg coast, though they intend to return not to revive the religious rite but to celebrate the birthday of one of their members with alcohol and culinary delicacies. Give Me Your Answer Do! premiered in 1997 and recounts the lives and careers of two novelists and friends who pursued different paths; one writing shallow, popular works, the other writing works that refuse to conform to popular tastes. After an American university pays a small fortune for the popular writer's papers, the same collector arrives to review the manuscripts of his friend. The collector prepares to announce his findings at a dinner party when the existence of two "hard-core" pornographic novels based upon the writer's daughter forces all present to reassess.
Entering his eighth decade, Friel found it difficult to maintain the writing pace that he returned to in the 1990s; indeed, between 1997 and 2003 he produced only the very short one-act plays "The Bear" (2002), "The Yalta Game" (2001), and "Afterplay" (2002), all published under the title Three Plays After (2002). The latter two plays stage Friel's continued fascination with Chekhov's work. "The Yalta Game" is concerned with Chekhov's story "The Lady with the Lapdog," "Afterplay" is an imagining of a near-romantic meeting between Andrey Prozorov of Chekhov's Three Sisters and Sonya Serebriakova of his Uncle Vanya . It has been revived several times (including being part of the Friel/Gate Festival in September 2009) and had its world premiere at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.
The most innovative work of Friel's late period is Performances (2003). A graduate researching the impact of Leoš Janáček's platonic love for Kamila Stosslova on his work playfully and passionately argues with the composer, who appears to host her at his artistic retreat more than 70 years after his death; all the while, the Alba String Quartet's players intrude on the dialogue, warm up, then perform the first two movements of Janáček's Second String Quartet in a tableau that ends the play. The Home Place (2005), focusing on the aging Christopher Gore and the last of Friel's plays set in Ballybeg, was also his final full-scale work. Although Friel had written plays about the Catholic gentry, this is his first play directly considering the Protestant experience. In this work, he considers the first hints of the waning of Ascendancy authority during the summer of 1878, the year before Charles Stuart Parnell became president of the Land League and initiated the Land Wars.After a sold-out season at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, it transferred to London's West End on 25 May 2005, making its American premiere at the Guthrie Theater in September 2007.
The taoiseach nominated Friel to serve as a member of Seanad Éireann (the Irish Senate) in 1987,where he served until 1989. In 1989, BBC Radio launched a "Brian Friel Season", a six-play series devoted to his work; he was the first living playwright to receive such an honour. In 1999 (April–August), Friel's 70th birthday was celebrated in Dublin with the Friel Festival, during which ten of his plays were staged or presented as dramatic readings throughout Dublin. A conference, National Library exhibition, film screenings, pre-show talks, and the launching of a special issue of The Irish University Review devoted to the playwright ran in conjunction with the festival. In 1999, The Irish Times extended him the honour of a lifetime achievement award.
On 22 February 2006, President Mary McAleese presented Friel with a gold torc in recognition of his election to the position of Saoi by his fellow members of Aosdána. On acceptance of the gold Torc, Friel quipped: "I knew that being made a Saoi, really getting this award, is extreme unction; it is a final anointment—Aosdana's last rites." Only five members of Aosdána could hold this honour at the time, and Friel joined fellow Saoithe Louis le Brocquy, Benedict Kiely, Seamus Heaney and Anthony Cronin.In August 2006, Heaney (also a friend of the Friels) who had been in attendance at the 75th birthday of Friel's wife in County Donegal, suffered a stroke on the morning after the celebration.
In November 2008, The Queen's University of Belfast announced its intention to build a new theatre complex and research centre, to be named The Brian Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research. Friel attended its opening in 2009.
Friel's 80th birthday fell in 2009.The journal Irish Theatre International published a Special Issue to commemorate the occasion with seven articles devoted to the playwright. The Gate Theatre staged three plays (Faith Healer,The Yalta Game, and Afterplay) during several weeks in September. In the midst of the Gate's productions, the Abbey Theatre presented "A Birthday Celebration for Brian Friel," on 13 September 2009. Although not inclined to seek publicity, Friel attended the performance amid regular seating, received a cake while the audience sang "Happy Birthday," and mingled with well wishers afterwards. The Abbey event was an evening of staged readings (excerpts from Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, and Dancing at Lughnasa), the performance of Friel-specific songs and nocturnes, and readings by Thomas Kilroy and Seamus Heaney.
The National Library of Ireland houses the 160 boxes of The Brian Friel papers,containing notebooks, manuscripts, playbills, correspondence, contracts, unpublished manuscripts, programmes, production photos, articles, uncollected essays, and a vast collection of ephemera relating to Friel's career and creative process from 1959 through 2000. It does not contain his Irish Press articles, which can be found in the Dublin and Belfast newspaper libraries.
In 2011, an additional set of Friel's papers were made available in the National Library of Ireland.These additional papers consist mainly of archival materials dating between 2000 and 2010.
Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Among his best-known works is Death of a Naturalist (1966), his first major published volume. Heaney was recognised as one of the principal contributors to poetry during his lifetime. American poet Robert Lowell described him as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats", and many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have said that he was "the greatest poet of our age". Robert Pinsky has stated that "with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller." Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as "probably the best-known poet in the world".
Irish literature comprises writings in the Irish, Latin, and English languages on the island of Ireland. The earliest recorded Irish writing dates from the seventh century and was produced by monks writing in both Latin and Early Irish. In addition to scriptural writing, the monks of Ireland recorded both poetry and mythological tales. There is a large surviving body of Irish mythological writing, including tales such as The Táin and Mad King Sweeny.
Professor Frank McGuinness is an Irish writer. As well as his own plays, which include The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and Dolly West's Kitchen, he is recognised for a "strong record of adapting literary classics, having translated the plays of Racine, Sophocles, Ibsen, Garcia Lorca, and Strindberg to critical acclaim". He has also published four collections of poetry, and two novels. McGuinness has been Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin (UCD) since 2007.
Glenties is a village in County Donegal, Ireland. It is situated where two glens meet, north-west of the Bluestack Mountains, near the confluence of two rivers. Glenties is the largest centre of population in the parish of Iniskeel. Glenties has won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition five times in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1995 and has won a medal many other times. As of 2016, the population is 805.
Translations is a three-act play by Irish playwright Brian Friel, written in 1980. It is set in Baile Beag (Ballybeg), a Donegal village in 19th century Ireland. Friel has said that Translations is "a play about language and only about language", but it deals with a wide range of issues, stretching from language and communication to Irish history and cultural imperialism. Friel said that his play "should have been written in Irish" but, despite this fact, he carefully crafted the verbal action in English, bringing the political questions of the play into focus.
Dancing at Lughnasa is a 1990 play by dramatist Brian Friel set in Ireland's County Donegal in August 1936 in the fictional town of Ballybeg. It is a memory play told from the point of view of the adult Michael Evans, the narrator. He recounts the summer in his aunts' cottage when he was seven years old.
Donal Donnelly was an Irish theatre and film actor. Perhaps best known for his work in the plays of Brian Friel, he had a long and varied career in film, on television and in the theatre. His travels – he lived in Ireland, the UK and the US at various times – led to him describing himself as " ... an itinerant Irish actor ...".
Rosaleen Linehan is an Irish stage, screen and television actress.
Marina Carr born November 17,1964 is a prolific Irish playwright. She has written almost thirty plays, including By the Bog of Cats (1998) which was revived at the Abbey Theater in 2014.
Ballybeg is an anglicisation of the Irish language term, Baile Beag, which means "Little Town". The Irish playwright Brian Friel has set many of his works, such as Philadelphia Here I Come!, Translations and Dancing at Lughnasa, in the fictional County Donegal town of Ballybeg. Friel's Ballybeg has often been compared to the village of Glenties, close to where he lived.
Thomas F. Kilroy is an Irish playwright and novelist.
Gerard McSorley, born 1950 is an Irish theatre, television and film actor.
Bríd Brennan is a Northern Irish actress who is known for her theatre work, she originated the role of Agnes in the Brian Friel play Dancing at Lughnasa, for which she won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She is also a three-time Olivier Award nominee; for Rutherford and Son (1995), The Little Foxes (2002) and The Ferryman (2018).
Dearbhla Molloy is an Irish film, stage and television actress.
Molly Sweeney is a two-act play by Brian Friel. It tells the story of its title character, Molly, a woman blind since infancy, who undergoes an operation to try to restore her sight. Like Friel's Faith Healer, the play tells Molly's story through monologues by three characters: Molly, her husband Frank, and her surgeon, Mr. Rice.
Robin Lefevre, born 1947, is an award-winning British theatre director. He has worked in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.
Afterplay is a 2002 one-act play by Brian Friel. It centres on two characters from Chekhov meeting in Moscow in the 1920s.
But if it fuses warmth, humour and melancholy as seamlessly as it should, it will make a worthy birthday gift for Friel, who has just turned 80, and justify his status as one of Ireland's seven Saoi of the Aosdána, meaning that he can wear the Golden Torc round his neck and is now officially what we fans know him to be: a Wise Man of the People of Art and, maybe, the greatest living English-language dramatist.(subscription required).
Brian Friel has been recognized as Northern Ireland's greatest living playwright almost since the first production of Philadelphia, Here I Come! in Dublin in 1964. In succeeding years he has dazzled us with plays that speak in a language of unequaled poetic beauty and intensity. Such dramas as "Translations," "Dancing at Lughnasa" and "Wonderful Tennessee," among others, have given him a privileged place in our theater.
Brian Friel, who wrote Translations and Philadelphia ... Here I Come, and who is regarded by many as one of the world's greatest living playwrights, has suggested that there is, in fact, no real need for a director on a production.
FOR THOSE OF US who never quite understood why Brian Friel is called "the Irish Chekhov," here is "Aristocrats" to explain – if not actually justify – the compliment."
ALL the pieces are falling into place for Brian Friel's new play, "Faith Healer," which opens 5 April on Broadway.
Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa had a long run on Broadway
Final curtains fall Sunday on three Broadway shows: Brian Friel's Translations at the Biltmore; The Apple Tree, with Kristin Chenoweth, at Studio 54; David Hare's The Vertical Hour, with Julienne Moore and Bill Nighy, at the Music Box, the latter directed by Sam Mendes
Three Irish plays will be among the contenders at tomorrow's Tony awards, when Broadway honours productions from the past year. Brian Friel's Faith Healer, Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Conor McPherson's Shining City have a total of 11 nominations in seven categories.
Choices made by previous taoisigh have included the playwright Brian Friel, distinguished public servants such as TK Whitaker and Maurice Hayes, and prominent Northern Ireland figures such as John Robb, Seamus Mallon, Bríd Rodgers and the late Gordon Wilson