was born in Omagh in Co. Tyrone in 1929. He received
his college education in Derry, Maynooth and Belfast,
and taught at various schools in Derry from 1950 to 1960.
Friel began his writing career as a writer of short
stories, but it is as a playwright he is best known for
internationally. Since the success of "Philadelphia,
Here I Come!" In 1964, he has written over twenty
plays, successfully confirming his reputation as a major
dramatist of the twentieth century.
Most of Friel's plays have been performed extensively
in Dublin at the Abbey, The Gate and Olympia Theatres
, in many West-End Theatres in London and on Broadway,
while always addressing specifically Irish Themes.
He co-founded The Field-Day Theatre Company with actor
Stephen Rea in Derry, where Translations (1980), The
Communication Cord (1982) and Making History (1988) Premiered.
Field Day was set up with the intention of establishing
the city as a theatrical centre. It raised the profile
of Derry as a city drawing strength from it's Protestant
and Catholic inheritances and it's strategic location
near the border of the partitioned Ireland.
This Film tells the story of an exceptional playwright
living and working in Ireland today. It includes some
thoughts from both his friends and various people who
have had the pleasure of working with him or on some
of his plays.
Notoriously, Brian Friel is a shy man, reticent in public
and sparing in his comments on his own work to a Beckettian
degree. However, at the end of this short Brian has commented
on the film itself, which adds a very nice touch.
Prof. Anthony Roche
PLAYS BY BRIAN FRIEL
The Enemy Within (1962)
Philadelphia, Here I Come!
The Freedom of the City
Faith Healer (1979) N.Y
The Munday Scheme (1969)
The Gentle Island (1971)
Dancing at Lughnasa
Give me your Answer, Do
The Loves of Cass Maguire
Three Sisters (translation)