Translations (2004)

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Translations2 poster.jpg

by Brial Friel

Directed by Jay Michaels

Performances: 6th – 10th July 2004, Bell Theatre.


It's August 1833 in Baile Baeg, an Irish-speaking community in County Donegal, and a newly arrived detachment of the Royal Engineers are to make the first Ordnance Survey: thus all the local Gaelic place names are to be Anglicised. A procedure which at first seems purely administrative proves, however, to have far reaching consequences for the whole community...

The fundamental question of preserving cultural identity, pride and tradition in a rapidly changing Europe is as relevant today as it would have been to people like the village folk of Baile Baeg two hundred years ago. How much can and should one sacrifice for progress? Is it a case of 'adapt or die'?

"Translations" was written in 1980 and came out of the Field Day Group, in which the playwright Brian Friel joined Stephen Rea, Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and others to revive Irish writing. Daily Telegraph hailed the play "a modern classic", while Sunday Times declared it to be "Brian Friel's finest play".



  • Special Acknowledgements to Muiris O'Scanaill for advice on correct Gaelic pronounciations, and Mary Upchurch and Mauve O'Conner for their input in dialect coaching.


Some review quotes go here


Photos by Mark Davies.

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