Tag Archives: Brian Friel


Featured photo- Colin Friels as Frank Hardy. Pic by Brett Boardman.

This is a serious and challenging play. It runs for nearly two hours without interval and consists of four monologues  that go roughly for half an hour each. This demands an enormous of concentration on part of the actor and a great degree of acuity of focus on the part of the audience member. If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, or enter the theatre with a mind full of distractions, or even not attend to your physical needs you will not fully appreciate this play.

The play tells the story of a Faith Healer  named Frank Hardy (Colin Friels) purveying a snake oil act of laying on healing hands trailed by his dysfunctional ‘family’; Grace – his long suffering wife/mistress (Alison Whyte) and his manager, the ever optimistic Ted (Pip Miller).

Irish playwright Brian Friel (1929-2015) wrote this play during the troubles in 1979 when families were in tremendous stress. This family is under the stress of a barely  subsistence,  nomadic lifestyle, playing in decrepit halls and dingy churches in the poor backlots of Scotland, England and Wales and finally back to Ireland where Frank was born. Continue reading BRIAN FRIEL’S ‘FAITH HEALER’ UPSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET

Brian Friel’s AFTERPLAY @ OLD 505

Wayne Bassett and Emma Skelton star in Brian Friel’s AFTERLIFE

Chekhov is such a specific playwright that he even has an adjective. However, AFTERPLAY, which is part of the Sydney Fringe and playing at Old 505, avoids being Chekhovian despite the characters having been pulled from lives created by the Russian master of Realism. Unlike many of the reverentially comic interpretations of the Chekhov canon, this production has many laugh-out-loud moments.

Sonya is the smart, plain niece of UNCLE VANYA and Andrey is the dissolute, disillusioned brother of the THREE SISTERS. In a post-revolutionary Russian café twenty years after we last saw them, then in the environment created by their master, we meet them again: this time shaped by a modern master. They don’t know that they share a maker but there is a connection wrought of loneliness and the experience of their younger selves. Continue reading Brian Friel’s AFTERPLAY @ OLD 505