Last Sunday, in the Guildhall in London, the Abbey Theatre, along with our producing partner, Lyric Theatre Belfast, won Best Play Revival for the co-production of Brian Friel’s Translations at the UK Theatre Awards ceremony.
The highly acclaimed production of Translations opened in Belfast earlier this year, over 40 years after its first production at the Guildhall Derry which starred Stephen Rea and Liam Neeson. The production then moved to the national theatre of Ireland to the Abbey Theatre and finished its run with a regional tour to Limerick, Galway and Donegal. Directed by Abbey Theatre Artistic Director and Donegal native Caitríona McLaughlin, it was described by The Guardian as “a timeless study of change and identity”, finding a new potency in a time where Brexit has thrown current Anglo-Irish relations into sharp relief.
Caitríona McLaughlin and Mark O’Brien, Co-Directors of the Abbey Theatre, said:
“We are delighted that Translations won Best Play Revival at the UK Theatre Awards. While we got to attend in person, the award belongs to the company and we want to thank them for all their work. We couldn’t be prouder of this co-production with the Lyric Theatre. It is a very special play and we love its world and language. What feels particularly pertinent about Translations right now, is Brian Friel’s ability to tap into our shared humanity through the complexity of our language. It is always valuable to examine how we communicate both individually and culturally and in the context of Brexit it feels more relevant than ever before.”
Commenting on the production and the Best Play Revival award, Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer Lyric Theatre, said:
“This is a seminal play dealing with language, identity and borders that contains one of the most extraordinary scenes of love written in any language. The fact that this award was given to two Irish companies from north and south in the very grand and historic City Hall of old London demonstrates the power of sharing and understanding between our islands.”