Brian Friel to Be Celebrated; Dancing at Lughnasa Will Be Featured

News   Brian Friel to Be Celebrated; Dancing at Lughnasa Will Be Featured
The Lughnasa International Friel Festival, celebrating the work of the Tony-winning playwright Brian Friel — whose plays Dancing at Lughnasa, Wonderful Tennessee, Philadelphia Here I Come!, Translations and Faith Healer have all been seen on Broadway — is the first annual Festival in Ireland to be staged on both sides of the border — in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and in Belfast in Northern Ireland — at the same time.

The Festival will run Aug. 20-31, under the artistic directorship of Sean Doran.

In a press statement, President Bill Clinton, who has been closely associated with Northern Ireland's future over the past three decades, commented, "Although many of his plays are set in his small town of Ballybeg, the themes and issues explored in them—identity, family, and conflict—have a universal appeal. It is his extraordinary understanding of people, their motivations and their dreams, and their sense of themselves and others that keeps pulling us back to Friel again and again."

At the heart of the program every year will be a signature production of one of Brian Friel’s key plays, presented in both of the Festival locations, Donegal and Belfast. In the first year, it will be a brand-new production of Dancing at Lughnasa, produced by the Lyric Theatre Belfast and directed by Annabelle Comyn.

In a press statement, Friel added, "If you want a festival that is tame and conventional and mildly entertaining don't ask Sean Doran to organise it. Witness his Beckett Festival in Enniskillen - it is wild and imaginative and creative and riveting. I have total confidence he'll do the same with the Friel Festival."

For full details of the program and to book tickets, visit

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