Theatre

Philadelphia, Here I Come! for Brú Ború heritage centre, Cashel

Philadelphia, Here I Come! is set in the fictitious Ballybeg, Donegal in 1960’s Ireland

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@tipperarylive.ie

Philadelphia, Here I Come! for Brú Ború heritage centre, Cashel

Show is on Saturday, March 14, at 8pm. Adult ticket is €15

The play that launched Brian Friel on to the international stage and transformed modern Irish theatre is coming to Cashel’s Brú Ború heritage centre next Saturday, March 14, at 8pm. Adult ticket is €15.


Philadelphia, Here I Come! is set in the fictitious Ballybeg, Donegal in 1960’s Ireland. Its protagonist, Gareth O’Donnell, frustrated with the lack of progress in his life accepts an invititation from his aunt to move to Philadelphia.


Through Friel’s innovative techniques we soon learn on the night and morning before his departure, the young Gareth is not that happy to leave.


Gareth’s alter ego, or the private self, is given a persona so the audience sees two Gars on the stage, both private and public. Through a reserved public Ga, and the contrasting hyperactive private Gar, one sees the complexity of the protagonist and how difficult it is for him to articulate his feelings.


Especially towards his stubborn father, his lost love, Kathy Doogan, his surrogate mother Madge and his job that provides little prospect.

Director Joanne Ryan wants to convey the universality of this dichotomy between the public and the private self. The play is still as relevant today when you consider how young people are growing up with social media very much prevalent in their lives.

Through social media we create a public persona, separated from our actual realities. While we can easily resolve this, we do struggle to connect the two realities.