Friel, Brian 1929-
Friel, Brian 1929-
FRIEL, Brian 1929-
PERSONAL: Born Bernard Patrick Friel, January 9, 1929, in Omagh, Tyrone, Northern Ireland; son of Patrick (a teacher) and Christina (MacLoone) Friel; married Anne Morrison, December 27, 1955; children: Paddy (daughter), Mary, Judy, Sally, David. Education: St. Columb's College, Derry, 1941-46; St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, 1946-49, B.A. 1949; St. Mary's Training College (now St. Joseph's College of Education), Belfast, graduate study, 1949-50. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, trout fishing, slow tennis.
ADDRESSES: Home—Drumaweir House, Greencastle, Donegal, Ireland. Agent—International Creative Management, 40 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019; Curtis Brown, 162-168 Regent St., London W1R 5TB, England.
CAREER: Playwright. Teacher at primary and post-primary schools in and around Derry, Northern Ireland, 1950-60; writer, 1960—. Tyrone Guthrie Theater, observer, 1963; cofounder of Field Day Theatre Company, 1980. Member of Irish Senate.
MEMBER: Irish Academy of Letters, Aosdana, National Association of Irish Artists, Irish Senate.
AWARDS, HONORS: Macauley fellowship from Irish Arts Council, 1963; Antoinette Perry ("Tony") Award nomination for best play, 1966, for Philadelphia, Here I Come!, and 1969, for Lovers; Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, British Theatre Association Award, and Plays and Players Award for best new play, all 1981, all for Translations; Evening Standard award for best play of the season, 1988, and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play, 1989, both for Aristocrats; Olivier Award, 1991, for Dancing at Lughnasa; Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award, 1991; Tony Award for best play, 1992, for Dancing at Lughnasa. Litt.D., Rosary College (Chicago, IL), 1974, National University of Ireland, 1983, New University of Ulster, 1986, Queen's University, Belfast, 1992, Dominican College (Chicago, IL), Trinity College (Dublin), and Georgetown University.
The Francophile, produced in Belfast, 1960; produced as The Doubtful Paradise, Belfast, 1960.
The Enemy Within (three-act play; produced in Dublin, 1962), Proscenium Press, 1975.
The Blind Mice, produced in Dublin, 1963.
Philadelphia, Here I Come!, (produced in Dublin, 1964; produced on Broadway at Helen Hayes Theatre, 1966), Faber (London, England), 1965, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1966.
The Loves of Cass McGuire (produced on Broadway at Helen Hayes Theatre, 1966), Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1967.
Lovers, (two one-act plays, Winners and Losers; produced in Dublin, 1967; produced on Broadway at Vivian Beaumont Theatre, 1968), Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1968.
Crystal and Fox (produced in Dublin, 1968; produced in Los Angeles at Mark Taper Forum, 1969; produced in New York, 1972), published with The Mundy Scheme, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1970.
The Mundy Scheme (produced in Dublin, 1969; produced on Broadway at Royale Theatre, 1969), published with Crystal and Fox, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1970.
The Gentle Island (two-act play; produced in Dublin, 1971), Davis-Poynter (London, England), 1973.
The Freedom of the City (two-act play; produced in Dublin, 1972; produced in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, 1974; produced on Broadway, 1974), S. French (New York, NY), 1974.
Volunteers (produced in Dublin, 1975), Faber (London, England), 1979.
Living Quarters (produced in Dublin, 1977), Faber (London, England), 1978.
The Faith Healer (produced in New York, 1979; produced at Royal Court Theatre, London, 1992), Faber (London, England), 1980.
Aristocrats (three-act play; produced in Dublin, 1979), Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1980.
Translations (produced in Derry, 1980; produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, 1981), Faber (London, England), 1981.
American Welcome (produced in New York, 1980), published in The Best Short Plays 1981, Chilton (Radnor, PA), 1981.
(Translator) Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters" (produced in Derry, 1981), Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1981.
The Communication Cord (produced in Derry, 1982; produced in Seattle, WA, 1984-1985), Faber (London, England), 1983.
Selected Plays of Brian Friel, Faber (London, England), 1984, Catholic University Press (Washington, DC), 1986.
(Adapter) Fathers and Sons (based on a novel by Ivan Turgenev), produced in London, 1987; produced in New Haven, CT, 1988.
Making History, produced in Derry, 1988; produced in London, 1988.
The London Vertigo: Based on a Play "The True Born Irishman; or, The Irish Fine Lady" by Charles Macklin, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1990.
Dancing at Lughnasa (produced in London, 1991), Faber (London, England), 1990, Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1993.
A Month in the Country: After Turgenev, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1992, Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1993.
Wonderful Tennessee, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1993.
Molly Sweeney, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1994, Penguin (New York, NY), 1995.
(Adapter) Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1998.
Plays Two, Faber & Faber (New York, NY), 1999.
Give Me Your Answer, Do! (produced in London, 1997, produced in New York, 1999-2000), Plume (New York, NY), 2000.
Afterplay, produced in New York, NY, 2002.
The Yalta Game, (produced in Dublin, 2002), Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 2002.
A Sort of Freedom, produced by BBC Radio, 1958.
To This Hard House, produced by BBC Radio, 1958.
The Founder Members, 1964.
The Loves of Cass McGuire, 1966.
A Saucer of Larks (stories), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1962.
The Gold in the Sea (stories), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1966.
Mr. Sing-Meines-Herzens-Freude, Verlag Agentur des Rauhen Hauses, 1966.
Selected Stories, Gallery Press (Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland), 1979.
The Diviner: Brian Friel's Best Short Stories, Devin (Old Greenwich, CT), 1983.
(Editor) Charles McGlinchey, The Last of the Name, Blackstaff Press (Dover, NH), 1986.
Traduzioni e Altri Drammi, Bulzoni (Rome, Italy), 1996, Gallery Books, 1997.
Author of screen adaptation of his play Philadelphia, Here I Come!, c. 1970; also has written for British and Irish radio and television. Contributor of stories to periodicals, including New Yorker.
ADAPTATIONS: The Loves of Cass McGuire was produced on television in Dublin; Dancing at Lughnasa was adapted for film and released by Sony Pictures Classics, 1998.
SIDELIGHTS: One of Ireland's best-known playwrights, Brian Friel is noted for his deft use of language and his interest in Irish life and history. Co-founder of the Field Day Theatre Company in London's West End in 1980, Friel is considered a central figure in the resurgence of interest and appreciation for Irish-penned drama that took place in both England and the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Among his best-known works for the stage are 1964's Philadelphia, Here I Come!, 1980's Translations, and Dancing at Lughnasa, first produced in 1990. The story of a hopeful but heretofore luckless Irishman who immigrates to the United States, Philadelphia was the first of many major stage successes for its author; it boasted a long run in New York City and was eventually adapted as a motion picture.
Taking place, as do most of Friel's works, in Ballybeg, a small, fictional town in County Donegal, Northern Ireland, Philadelphia, Here I Come! was the fourth play of Friel's to be produced; the first, a working-class drama called A Doubtful Paradise, was written in 1959, when its author was thirty. A graduate of St. Patrick's College who had abandoned early plans to join the priesthood, Friel had worked as a teacher in Londonderry while writing short stories and plays for both radio and the stage. In 1962 he left teaching to become a full-time writer after being encouraged by the reception of his short stories at the New Yorker magazine, wherein they were regularly published. In 1963, to increase his knowledge of the working theatre, Friel accepted an invitation from noted stage director Tyrone Guthrie to accompany him to the Minneapolis theater that bears his name. The experience as an observer of the great director paid off; Friel's next play, the humorous and sensitive Philadelphia, Here I Come! enjoyed a successful run in its author's native Northern Ireland, in London, and across the Atlantic in New York City.
In the play, twenty-seven-year-old Gar O'Donnell is preparing to board a plane for the United States, where he hopes to make a new life. Friel's portrayal of O'Donnell's duality—his public and private selves—through the use of two actors allows the playwright to expose, as Walter Kerr noted in a review of the play in the New York Herald Tribune, "the skipping, sassy, candid, tormenting back-talk all of us give ourselves when we know we are behaving like the chuckleheads we are, listening to the running argument we keep up with ourselves every furious, fumbled day of our lives."
Following his positive reception before international audiences, Friel increased his standing with such stage productions as The Loves of Cass McGuire, The Freedom of the City, and Aristocrats, first produced at Dublin's Abbey Theatre. The O'Donnells, an aristocratic Irish Catholic family in decline, serve as the focus of Friel's Aristocrats, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle award for best foreign play in 1989. In a multigenerational household in a rundown Georgian manse called Ballybeg Hall, the inner workings of the O'Donnell clan become exposed as friends, family, and outsiders gather to witness the wedding of the family's youngest daughter, Claire. Drawing numerous comparisons to the stage works of Anton Chekhov, Aristocrats earned overwhelming praise from critics, Edith Oliver calling it "an ironic, loving, imaginative, and all but faultless play" in her review of the Broadway production in the New Yorker. "One test of a good play is how much of a society it manages to put on stage," maintained Guardian critic Michael Billington, adding, "Friel gives us a comprehensive tour…. But [he] is less concerned with class-judgements than with the engrossing spectacle of decline; and, again, the Chekhovian parallel comes to mind in that the most dynamic characters are those with a hunger for life."
Friel's Translations was also widely welcomed, a "vibrant, deeply moving work of art in which everything seems to have come together for its author," according to Chicago Tribune critic Richard Christiansen. Set in 1833, as British authorities were in the process of mapping and renaming Ireland's old Gaelic towns, the play shows the beginning of the end of traditions and cultural identity and the roots of the modern divided Ireland. Sent to take part in the mapping of County Donegal, English Lieutenant Yolland falls in love with the countryside and with a young woman named Maire, who speaks only Gaelic, and their brief story plays out in tragic, inexorable parallel with that of Romeo and Juliet. Christiansen deemed the work "glorious," writing that in Translations Friel "found the theme, the period of history, the language and the passion to create a work that resonates with poetic metaphor, taking a specific incident and turning it into a profound and moving drama of universal meaning." New York Post critic Clive Barnes also had praise for Translations as a portrait of Ireland's loss of national identity, and commented that "This picture, this analysis of Ireland at a time conceivably of hope deferred if not lost, is full of that Hibernian gift of transforming a foreign reality into a native poetry."
Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa once again takes place in the town of Ballybeg, this time in the autumn of 1936, during the harvest festival honoring the ancient pagan god Lugh. It is a portrait of a woman-run household where itinerant father figures come and go, where Uncle Jack, recently dismissed from missionary service in Uganda after adopting the native religion, has come to live out his remaining years of ill-health, but where the five spinster Mundy sisters clearly hold sway. Narrated by Michael, the son of one of the sisters, the story revolves around the introduction of music to the house via a wireless radio. The wireless is broken—the music is sometimes present, sometimes not—but the intermittent intrusion of everything from Big Band sounds to torch songs to Irish folk tunes inspire the sisters to break away from the poverty of their lives and even contemplate attending the harvest dance. "It is hard to think of any play that has more explicitly honored women's work—manual, intellectual and spiritual—as the foundation upon which community survival is built," contended Margaret Spillane in the Nation. Drawing parallels between African and pre-Christian Celtic rituals as well as revisioning the role between the sexes, Dancing at Lughnasa also "seems to suggest the possibility of fusion rather than collision, of reconciliation rather than antagonism," commented S. F. Gallagher in a review in the Irish Literary Supplement.
While Dancing at Lughnasa became one of the most produced plays in the United States following its Broadway premiere, some critics were not so enthusiastic about Wonderful Tennessee. The play profiles a group of individuals awaiting a ferry to take them to an island off the Irish coast, a ferry that never arrives, and while Lughnasa is a play that reaffirms the joy existing in simple things, Wonderful Tennessee focuses on defeat. "Friel's play is about disappointment, nonfulfillment, both actual and symbolic," noted Irish Literary Supplement critic Robert Tracy. "None of his characters reach the island. Each is a study in failure." However, Tracy saw much of value in the play, notably the playwright's attempt to "move away from political drama, however implicit, and from his related—and Chekhovian—preoccupation with the use/misuse of language." Wonderful Tennessee "represents a new direction in Friel's work," maintained Tracy. "We can only wait, and cheer him on."
That new direction would be even more apparent in Molly Sweeney. A blind, forty-one-year-old woman from a small town, Friel's protagonist regains her sight at the hands of an alcoholic ophthalmologist experimenting with a new technique. Dispensing with modern stage techniques, the dialogue comes from three actors—Molly, her ophthalmologist, Paddy Rice, and husband, Frank—who share between them thirty-seven monologues from their seated position at center stage. In addition to outlining Molly and Frank's relationship up to the time of the surgery, these monologues also disclose the inner personality of each of the characters: creative, spiritual Molly; her unfocused but well-meaning, hyperactive husband; and Rice, whose belief extends only to the power of technology. Sightless from birth, Molly had achieved a great deal of success in her life. In fact, she had not sought out a cure for her blindness, but had meekly followed the wishes of Frank, who was in need of a new crusade to shield the growing knowledge that his life had produced little of actual achievement. The success of the operation comes as a surprise to all involved; the regaining of partial vision, even temporarily, now threatens to destroy Molly's heightened imaginative sense of both self and surroundings. The shock she experiences "raises fascinating intellectual and spiritual problems," explained John Lahr in the New Yorker. "In the material, sighted world, seeing is believing. But in the realm of faith, believing is not seeing; it is accepting the unknowable as fact."
"Stylistically, [Friel] moves away from naturalism, employing striking theatrical devices to shed a more intense light on his subject," commented Mel Gussow, characterizing Friel's body of work in the New York Times Magazine. "The plays take place at homecomings and leavings, reunions, and preludes to exile. Old worlds dissolve and traditional values are questioned. Language is of the utmost concern—not simply the lyrical language that elevates his plays, but in his commentary on communication. He illustrates the power of things spoken and unspoken, language as divider and bridge." June Schlueter expanded on this assessment in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, deeming the strengths of Friel's writing to be "sensitivity of characterization, authenticity of language, and an overall perceptivity." "These, coupled with his enduring commitment to dramatizing the Irish national character and dilemma," Schlueter concluded, "are responsible for Friel's deserved place among Ireland's most important contemporary playwrights."
Uncle Vanya is Friel's adaptation of another of Chekhov's plays. "Although fairly close to the Chekhov original, Friel's version is infused with a lyricism that turns the idle thoughts of Chekhov's idlers into artfully shaped soliloquies, which the actors then deliver with careful emphasis," wrote Charles Isherwood in Variety. Isherwood, writing in Daily Variety, also remarked that Friel's adaptation "is a bit too self-consciously eloquent, and a pointed tone of sarcasm is unnecessarily pervasive at times" throughout the play. In the story, Vanya and his niece, Sonya, suddenly find themselves facing the prospect of happiness after years of simple toil and existence. Vanya fancies the wife of Serebryakov, Yelena, and Sonya finds herself strongly attracted to Dr. Astrov. "Both affections are hopeless: Vanya's comically, Sonya's more tragically," Isherwood wrote.
Give Me Your Answer, Do! is "really about one's expectations of life, and life's inevitable disappointments—our present situations are merely substitutes for a set of other pains and disappointments we would have encountered on another road," wrote Jane Hogan in Back Stage. In the play, Tom and Daisy Connelly are a married couple with an autistic adult daughter. Tom writes well-respected but commercially unprofitable novels, and is courting a representative from the University of Texas, whom Tom thinks might be willing to pay handsomely for his archive. The representative visits, but the result is not what Tom expects. Ultimately, Hogan remarked, "The tiresome theme is of long-suffering women who have given up their careers and sublimated their wants for their men." Isherwood, again writing in Variety, observed, "The characters in Give Me Your Answer, Do! are drawn with depth and heart; their language, flecked with mordant wit, is robust yet natural. And the mood of nearly extinguished hope is carefully sustained. But in a play about a man struggling with writer's block, Friel himself seems merely to be marking time by falling back on familiar formulas."
In Afterplay, Friel combines characters from Chekhov plays, creating "a world where a character from one Chekhov play meets a character from another in 1920s Moscow—where Andrey, the brother from Three Sisters, meets Sonya from Uncle Vanya," wrote Alastair Macaulay in the Financial Times. The characters interact, reminisce, and tell the stories of what happened to them after the end of their original plays. "Andrey pretends he is playing violin at the opera but in reality is busking for a living," wrote Bill Hagerty in the Hollywood Reporter. "Sonya obviously still pines for Astrov, which rules out any across-two-plays romance that might have brought a flicker of happiness to this luckless pair." A reviewer in the London Guardian observed, "Far from depicting them as sad, middle-aged fantasists, Friel portrays Sonya and Andrey as people still sustained by unquenchable hope." The reviewer concluded, "The play gains from prior knowledge of Chekhov," but that within the relatively short seventy-minute running time, "it covers a huge emotional range and takes us close to the heart of Chekhov."
The Yalta Game is another Friel adaptation of Chekhov, this time of the short story "Lady with Lapdog." The Yalta game of the title "is invented by vacationers in the Crimea as a diversion from their ordinary lives," wrote William Pratt in World Literature Today, "a game played by imagining fantasy lives for others." The two characters of Friel's play, a middle-aged man (Gurov) and a young woman (Anna) with an imaginary dog, begin an affair at a small resort and continue it in the town where she lives with her husband. Though the affair fills their lives with excitement and a delight in the secretiveness of it, the play ends with them pledging continued loyalty but unsure how they'll be able to persist with their affair.
"Nowhere previously has Friel provided such a telling illustration of the idea that we live lives based on selected fictions," wrote Richard Pine in the Irish University Review. "In a sense, Gurov and Anna have no existence, since both deny the domestic contexts from which they have come to Yalta, and to which they return merely to endure long-distance-loving of a largely disembodied kind. The togetherness for which they yearn is, of course, impossible of realization," Pine commented. "This short, striking drama shows how much Friel the Irish playwright has in common with Chekhov the Russian playwright," Pratt concluded.
Friel has been notoriously shy of the spotlight that surrounds his success. "He has refused interviews many times and seldom poses for photographs, preferring anonymity to publicity," wrote William Pratt in World Literature Today. Brian Friel in Conversation, edited by Paul Delany, "removes some of the veil that has shrouded Friel up to now and presents him in his own words apart from his works," Pratt observed. Drawing on the infrequent published interviews and other documentary sources, Delany assembles a collection of works that portrays Friel as "a lively personality who enjoys frank discourse and witty remarks that could easily make him into a public figure if he chose that role," Pratt commented. Friel, however, reserves the spotlight for the actors in his plays, preferring to remain secluded with his wife, Anne, in his home in a village on the Donegal coast. "Overhearing his conversations, conveniently provided by this book, is a way of understanding better what he means," Pratt concluded.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Andrews, Elmer, The Art of Brian Friel: Neither Reality nor Dreams, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Contemporary Dramatists, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Contemporary Literary Criticism,, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 5, 1976, Volume 42, 1987, Volume 59, 1990.
Dantanus, Ulf, Brian Friel: The Growth of an Irish Dramatist, Faber (London, England), 1987.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 13: British Dramatists since World War II, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1982.
Duncan, Dawn, John Countryman, and Susan C. Harris, editors, Studies in the Plays of Brian Friel, Nova University (Fort Lauderdale, FL), 1994.
Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.
International Dictionary of Theatre, Volume 2: Playwrights, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1993.
Maxwell, D. E. S., Brian Friel, Bucknell University Press (Lewisburg, PA), 1973.
Modern British Literature, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.
O'Brien, George, Brian Friel, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1990.
Peacock, Alan J., The Achievement of Brian Friel, Barnes & Noble Books (Lanham, MD), 1992.
Pine, Richard, Brian Friel and Ireland's Drama, Routledge (London, England), 1990.
Stade, George, and Sarah Hannah Goldstein, editors, British Writers, Supplement 5, Scribner (New York, NY), 1999.
America, September 24, 1966, pp. 359-360; January 29, 1994, p. 23.
Back Stage, July 16, 1999, Irene Backalenick, review of The Freedom of the City, p. 28; July 16, 1999, Irene Backalenick, review of Uncle Vanya, p. 30; July 30, 1999, review of Aristocrats, p. 31; October 15, 1999, Jane Hogan, review of Give Me Your Answer, Do!, p. 44; June 29, 2000, Madeleine Shaner, review of A Month in the Country: After Turgenev, p. 12; October 13, 2000, Martin F. Kohn, review of Dancing at Lughnasa, p. 29.
Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1982.
Commonweal, December 6, 1991, pp. 718-719.
Contemporary Review, April, 1995, p. 199.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), November 6, 2001, Dominic Cavendish, profile of Friel.
Daily Variety, January 20, 2003, Charles Isherwood, review of Uncle Vanya, pp. 6-7.
Economist, October 12, 2002, review of Afterplay.
English Review, April, 2002, Eileen Underhill, analysis of Translations, pp. 33-35.
Europe, July-August, 1999, p. 38.
Financial Times, March 15, 2002, Alastair Macaulay, review of Afterplay, p. 16.
Guardian (London, England), June 4, 1988; May 1, 1999, Fintan O'Toole, review of The Faith Healer, p. S4; November 29, 2001, review of The Faith Healer, p. 20; March 7, 2002, review of Afterplay, p. 23; September 18, 2002, review of Uncle Vanya, p. 16; September 20, 2002, review of Afterplay, p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter, October 1, 2002, Bill Hagerty, review of Afterplay, pp. 24-25.
Houston Chronicle, December 19, 2002, review of Translations, p. 7.
Irish Literary Supplement, fall, 1990, p. 12; spring 1994, pp. 17-18.
Irish University Review, spring-summer, 1999, Anthony Roche, "Friel and Synge: Towards a Theatrical Language," pp. 145-161; spring-summer, 2002, review of The Yalta Game, pp. 191-196.
Journal of Irish Literature, September, 1976, Robert B. Bennett, pp. 148-149.
Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1984; September 19, 1989.
Midwest Quarterly, spring, 2000, p. 264.
Modern Drama, fall, 1997, David Krause, review of Dancing at Lughnasa, pp. 359-373; winter, 1999, David Krause, "Friel's Ballybeggared Version of Chekhov," p. 634.
Nation, January 27, 1992, pp. 102, 104; March 4, 1996, pp. 33-35.
New Republic, January 27, 1992, p. 28.
New Statesman, May 22, 1981, Benedict Nightingale, review of Translations, pp. 23-24; September 10, 2001, Katherine Duncan-Jones, "Sisters Doing It for Themselves," review of Three Sisters, p. 42; December 17, 2001, Katherine Duncan-Jones, review of The Faith Healer, pp. 100-101; October 7, 2002, review of Afterplay, p. 45.
New Statesman & Society, January 14, 1994, p. 35.
Newsweek, November 4, 1991, Jack Kroll, review of Dancing at Lughnasa, p. 79.
New York, August 2, 1999, John Simon, "Bodies Politic," review of The Freedom of the City, pp. 57-58; August 9, 1999, John Simon, review of Aristocrats, pp. 52-53; October 18, 1999, John Simon, "Damaged Goods," review of Give Me Your Answer, Do! pp. 57-58.
New Yorker, May 8, 1989, Edith Oliver, review of Aristocrats, p. 104; November 4, 1991, pp. 95-97; July 19, 1993, p. 82; October 17, 1994, pp. 107-109; April 3, 1995, p. 98.
New York Herald Tribune, February 17, 1966.
New York Post, April 15, 1981; April 26, 1989.
New York Times, February 18, 1974, p. 32; April 7, 1979; December 11, 1979; April 15, 1981, pp. 264-265; February 24, 1983; November 12, 1983; April 26, 1989; April 30, 1989; June 9, 1999, James F. Clarity, review of The Freedom of the City, p. E2; July 4, 1999, Declan Kiberd, review of The Freedom of the City and Dancing at Lughnasa, p. AR1; July 9, 1999, Peter Marks, review of Uncle Vanya, p. E5; October 6, 1999, Ben Brantley, review of Give Me Your Answer, Do!, p. E1.
New York Times Book Review, October 17, 1999, Carol Peace Robins, review of The Last of the Name, p. 23.
New York Times Magazine, September 29, 1991, pp. 30, 55-61.
Saturday Review, March 5, 1996, Henry Hewes, review of Philadelphia, Here I Come!, p. 54.
Spectator, January 2, 1999, Patrick Carnegy, review of A Month in the Country, p. 1; September 21, 2002, Toby Young, review of Uncle Vanya, p. 56.
Sunday Telegraph (London, England), December 2, 2001, John Gross, review of The Faith Healer.
Sunday Times (London, England), March 28, 1999, profile of Brian Friel, p. 23; August 11, 2002, review of Afterplay, p. 12; September 15, 2002, profile of Brian Friel, p. 18; September 29, 2002, John Peter, review of Afterplay, p. 17.
Time, November 8, 1993, p. 91.
Times (London, England), May 9, 1983; July 11, 1987; June 4, 1988; December 7, 1988.
Times Educational Supplement, May 19, 2000, Aleks Sierz, review of Translations, p. FR127; July 13, 2001, Aleks Sierz, review of Three Sisters, p. 24.
Times Literary Supplement, April 19, 1963, p. 261; October 15, 1982; June 3, 1983; December 14, 2001, Robert Shore, review of The Faith Healer, p. 19; September 27, 2002, Katherine Duncan-Jones, review of Uncle Vanya, p. 19; October 4, 2002, Stephen Brown, review of Afterplay, p. 21.
Twentieth-Century Literature, fall, 2000, Karen M. Moloney, review of Translations, p. 285.
Vanity Fair, October, 1991, p. 128.
Variety, July 12, 1999, Charles Isherwood, review of Uncle Vanya, p. 46; July 19, 1999, Charles Isherwood, review of The Freedom of the City, p. 34; July 26, 1999, Charles Isherwood, review of Aristocrats, p. 42; October 11, 1999, Charles Isherwood, review of Give Me Your Answer, Do!, p. 162; August 27, 2001, Markland Taylor, review of Philadelphia, Here I Come!, p. 40; December 3, 2001, Matt Wolf, review of The Faith Healer, p. 38; September 30, 2002, Matt Wolf, review of Uncle Vanya and Afterplay, pp. 35-36.
Vogue, October, 1991, p. 174.
Wall Street Journal, October 6, 1999, Debra Jo Immergut, review of Give Me Your Answer, Do!, p. A20.
World Literature Today, summer, 1999, p. 445; autumn, 2000, William Pratt, review of Brian Friel in Conversation, p. 826; summer-autumn, 2002, William Pratt, review of The Yalta Game, p. 95.*