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An Abbey Theatre and Lyric Theatre Belfast Coproduction


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Written by Brian Friel / Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin

‘You can learn to decode us’

It’s August 1833. The pupils have gathered in a hedge-school in the townland of Baile Beag/Ballybeg. This Irish-speaking community in Donegal, has become the unlikely focal point for a changing world.

Progress is coming. Tensions are growing. There are plans for a new English-speaking national school and a group of Royal Engineers have arrived to map the area.

Translations examines the fractious relationship between people and nations through the lens of language and (mis)communication.

Brian Friel’s modern masterpiece finds a new potency, in a time where Brexit has thrown current Anglo-Irish relations into sharp relief, redrawing old boundaries, and opening up old wounds. Abbey Theatre Artistic Director and Donegal native Caitríona McLaughlin directs a hotly anticipated new production of Translations with performances in Belfast, Dublin, Limerick, Galway, and Letterkenny.

“I think that is how the political problem of this island is going to be solved. It’s going to be solved by language in some kind of way. Not only the language of negotiations across the table. It’s going to be solved by the recognition of what language means for us on this island.” Brian Friel in conversation with Fintan O’Toole, 1982.


Manus: Marty Rea
Sarah: Suzie Seweify
Jimmy Jack: Ronan Leahy
Maire: Zara Devlin
Bridget: Ruby Campbell
Hugh: Brian Doherty
Owen: Leonard Buckley
Lieutenant Yolland: Aidan Moriarty
Captain Lancey: Howard Teale
Doalty: Andy Doherty

Writer: Brian Friel
Director: Caitríona McLaughlin
Set Design: Joanna Parker
Costume Design: Catherine Fay
LX Design: Paul Keogan
Sound Design: Carl Kennedy
Movement Director: Sue Mythen
Voice Director: Andrea Ainsworth
Assistant Director: Laura Sheeran

‘a timeless study of change and identity’ ★★★★ THE GUARDIAN


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