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Brian Friel International Festival

24th – 28th August 2017, Donegal, Derry~Londonderry and Omagh

Details also available on: www.artsoverborders.com 

The Brian Friel International Festival will return to Donegal, Derry~Londonderry, and Omagh with a five day programme of music, theatre, readings and outdoor events, from August 24-28, celebrating the life and work of the late playwright.

FrielFest is part of ARTS OVER BORDERS, a new cross-border arts initiative for Ireland – a concept from Derry-born artistic directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne that builds on the success of the Beckett Festival and A Wilde Weekend in Enniskillen.

In this first year, Arts Over Borders will celebrate the relationship between Brian Friel and Homer; it is said that each year Friel would read one or other of the two Homer epics.

Acclaimed Irish actor/director, Adrian Dunbar, will direct a special site-specific adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, presented episodically with food and music on five of the most beautiful beaches in Donegal.

The Odyssey will be recited by actor Niall Cusack and take place on the beaches of Tullan Strand Bundoran (24 August); Narin (25 August), Carrickfin (26 August), Marble Hill (27 August) and Fahan, Inishowen (28 August)

Frielfest 2017 will also have performed readings of three great plays by Friel in unique locations across the region: the festival’s signature play, Making History, directed by former Royal National Theatre Associate Mick Gordon (An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny & The Guildhall Derry, 25 & 26 August), The Enemy Within with 10 actors from Kabosh (St. Mary’s Church Knockmoyle where Friel was born, and St Columba’s Church, Long Tower Derry, 25 and 26 August) and a promenade Faith Healer in community halls in Glenties, Portnoo and Ardara ending up at the Highlands Hotel in Glenties, the location of Brian Friel’s grave (August 25-27).

Christopher Logue’s unfinished epic War Music, an account of Homer’s Iliad written over 30 years, will be directed by Conall Morrison (hot on the heels of his recent 5-star Guardian review for his Galway International Arts Festival hit Woyzeck in Winter) in five indoor locations along the magnificent Walls of Derry and involving three actors (24-28 August).

Prior to the reading of Making History in the Guildhall, Dr. Malachy O’Neill, Provost of the Ulster University Magee campus, will give an introductory talk on the place of the play in Friel’s work and earlier that afternoon Malachi O’Doherty and Brian Feeney debate how history is made and the role of traditional and social media in this.

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