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