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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea formed the Field Day Theatre Company to stage Friel’s Translations in 1980, they created a company arguably more conscious of its own symbolic value, and its own place in history, than any since the Abbey. Field Day soon developed into a wider cultural enterprise, playing a significant role in setting the terms of cultural debate in the 1980s, for which it was both vigorously supported and sharply criticized. The terms of this debate shaped the response to Field Day’s theatrical productions: Friel’s Translations and its companion piece, The Communication Cord, as well as key works by other writers, notably Thomas Kilroy’s Double Cross and Stewart Parker’s Pentecost. Drawing extensively on manuscript materials that have only recently entered the public domain, the Field Day initiative and Friel’s role in it are the subject of this chapter.

Keywords: Brian Friel, Seamus Deane, Stephen Rea, Field Day, Translations, Stewart Parker, Thomas Kilroy

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