This third collection by Brian Friel contains two original works: Performances, which considers the relationship between the private life and public work of the composer Leos Janácek; and The Home Place, set in Ballybeg, Donegal, at the dawn of Home Rule. There are three masterful plays based on stories by Chekhov; and Friel’s exquisite versions of Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya, of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country.
‘A minor work the way Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice or Beckett’s Endgame is a minor work. Deceptively brisk and light in tone but taut and gravely pregnant with meaning… for Friel, life creates its own symbolism and poetry, and so it does in this play.’ Sunday Times
The Home Place
‘A rich, allusive, densely layered play, which has echoes of Friel’s masterly Translations while reminding one that he has spent much of his recent life adapting and translating Chekhov… Friel hauntingly conveys the pathos of exile and the delusion of ownership.’ Guardian
‘Across the gulf of the 20th century one great playwright is talking to another… neither a simple translation nor, as the official title has it, or a ‘new version’, but something altogether larger.’ The Irish Times