Join Bruiser Theatre Company and Queen’s University for 4 workshop sessions exploring a 1964 classic drama by Brian Friel

About this event

The Play: In September 1964, the playwright Brian Friel had a breakthrough success that propelled him onto the world stage. Philadelphia, Here I Come! is set in the fictional small Irish town of Ballybeg, where the young Gar O’Donnell is preparing to leave for America. The innovative approach of having two actors play the lead character (Gar Public and Gar Private) allowed Friel to portray both his confident enthusiasm and his inner doubts about emigrating.

The play was a great success on both sides of the Atlantic: its themes of identity, migration and family ties resonated with audiences of expatriates as much as those who remained at home. It has been re-staged many times over the years by professional and amateur companies, and features on the school syllabus, north and south.

The Workshops: This will be an exciting and rewarding four sessions of learning, watching, creating and performing. Bruiser’s approach involves everyone, so you don’t need any acting experience or prior knowledge of Friel’s plays to enjoy the workshops.

Led by experienced actor Stephen Beggs of Bruiser Theatre Company, you’ll find out about the play and try your hand at performing in Bruiser’s signature physical theatre style. Then, guided by Stephen and working with the other participants, you’ll have the chance to discuss the key themes, come up with your own ideas and find ways to represent them – for example in a written piece or a short performance.

  • Week 1 (Mon 21 Feb, 7-9pm): Introduction to Brian Friel and physical theatre with Bruiser Theatre Company.
  • Week 2 (Mon 28 Feb, 7-9pm): Explore the text and themes of Philadelphia, Here I Come!
  • Week 3 (Mon 7 Mar, 7-9pm): Try your own creative writing – developing ideas responding to the themes of the play.
  • Week 4 (Mon 14 Mar, 7-9pm): Bring it all together – a performance, a reading or whatever other creative output you’d like to share.

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