Brian Friel’s Translations inspires new workshop series at Flowerfield Arts Centre

Brian Friel’s Translations inspires new workshop series at Flowerfield Arts Centre

Thu, October 13, 2022

Brian Friel’s masterpiece Translations will be the focus of a series of workshops for adults at Flowerfield Arts Centre beginning this November.

The workshops have been developed by the Friel Reimagined project team at Queen's University Belfast, which aims to preserve the heritage and legacy of Friel’s writings while bringing his work to new audiences, in partnership with Bruiser Theatre Company.

Friel was one of Ireland’s leading playwrights during his lifetime and one of the greatest dramatists of his generation. He also co-founded Field Day Theatre Company. Translation is considered to be one of, if not the finest, of his works.

The workshops will offer engaging and rewarding sessions of reading, creating and performing. Bruiser's approach involves everyone, so you do not need any acting experience or prior knowledge of Friel's plays to take part.

Led by actor and facilitator Rob Crawford of Bruiser Theatre Company, you will learn about the play and try your hand at performing in Bruiser's signature physical theatre style. Guided by Rob and working with the other participants, you'll have the chance to explore the key themes, scenes and characters.

A hedge school set in 1833, in the townland of Baile Beag, County Donegal, provides the setting for Translations. 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 create the first Ordnance Survey of the area; local Gaelic place names have to be recorded and translated into English. At first sight this is a purely administrative action; but Friel reveals and investigates its far reaching personal and cultural implications in the course of the play, an extraordinary exploration of language, power, history and identity.

Conor McCafferty, Project and Outreach Manager of Friel Reimagined at Queen's University said: "We are delighted to partner with Flowerfield Arts Centre for this initiative. Over the past year and a half, it has been amazing to see people of all different ages and backgrounds engage with Friel's work, in many cases for the first time, thanks to the brilliant facilitators from Bruiser Theatre Company. And this autumn, we're building up to the launch of the Brian Friel Digital Archive, which will allow people around the world to explore the creative process of this uniquely talented playwright."

The workshops, priced at £16 for the full four-week series, thanks to funding support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Steel Charitable Trust, are available to book by calling 028 7083 1400 or visit

They will take place on Wednesday November 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd from 7pm to 9pm.