Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Inside Brian Friel - An A-Z post

Photo courtesy of
Brian Friel is an author and playwright, born in Omagh, County Tyrone in 1929.

Although he eventually found his niche as a writer, he originally followed in his fathers footsteps and became a teacher, which he continued for ten years. It was while teaching that he met and marrried Anne Morrison, with whom he went on to have four daughters and one son.

He began writing, and his themes focused a lot on the divide between the religious and rural part of Ireland and the more progressive Ireland of the north and urban south.

Two plays of his that were made into films were Philadelphia, Here I Come and Dancing at Lughnasa.

It is the second of these plays that is the focus of my OU study. The play centres on five unmarried sisters and their life in their cottage situated just outside of Ballybeg, following them as they deal with poverty and financial insecurity.

They have a brother who returns home from being a missionary in Uganda, and it becomes clear that he has abandoned much of his faith and 'gone native'. The other residents living in and around Ballybeg don't think much of his behaviour and it has consequences for the whole family.

Brian Friel is one of the few authors being studied that is still alive today, and he currently resides in Donegal.

A to Z Challenge [2013]


This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. To get involved and check out other blogs taking part just click here. You won't be disappointed!



  1. Thanks for this, Heather. I was around when Dancing at Lughnasa first hit the headlines and garnered awards in London's West End, but never found out what the story was about. Thanks for sorting that out for me!
    Happy A to Z-ing
    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  2. Hello, Heather! I'm featuring authors on my blog for the Challenge, and I love stumbling on other blogs featuring authors, too! Brian Friel sounds like a fascinating writer. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines