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Faith Healer

Faith Healer
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Brian Friel
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 65
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN-10: 0573608792
ISBN-13: 9780573608797
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

Faith Healer is one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Faith Healer is a full-length drama by Brian Friel. Is Fantastic Francis Hardy a miracle worker – or a showman in search of a dollar? A darkly lyrical tale of a travelling Irish faith healer roaming through rural Scotland and Wales with his wife and his manager. Faith Healer uses poetic language and the power of ritual to engage the audience in a seamlessly unravelling mystery that leaves one wondering what to believe and who to trust.

Faith Healer is a spellbinding play in which each new revelation upends all that has come before it. In the course of four monologues the story unfolds of the travelling healer Frank Hardy who has gone all over Wales and Scotland peddling miracles with his wife and his manager. As the three wrestle with Hardy's genuine but elusive gift for healing, they ask potent questions about who we trust, what we know and why we believe. First we meet the dissolute, charismatic Frank as he grapples with his "gift." Next is Frank's patient but suffering wife, Grace. Third up is Frank's devoted promoter and set-up man, a Cockney named Teddy, who puts a touching and comical show business spin on events. In their respective monologues, Frank, Grace and Teddy tell their differing versions of the healer's performance and of a terrible event that slowly comes into focus. Frank's epilogue brings the play to a startling conclusion. Faith Healer is Brian Friel's masterpiece, defining his uniquely poetic and intensely human voice, a landmark play in the rich landscape of Irish theatre.

Faith Healer opened in 1979 at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway in New York City. Since then the show has enjoyed success in London, Dublin, Sydney and New York, sparking conversation and debate with every revival.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"Brian Friel's haunting memory play is quietly but persuasively phenomenal. It revolves around faith and healing, as its title suggests, but also about miracles and mistakes, the show business of faith and the blind faith of putting on a show. The show man - or is it shaman or charlatan? - here is an Irish travelling healer, who travels around Scotland, Wales and Ireland dispensing a kind of hope to the hopeless, but secretly knowing that it rarely works." — The Stage

"The writing is beautiful, supple, rhythmical, charged with the slow, sure throb of despair and enchantment... Brian Friel is the most profound and poetic of contemporary Irish dramatists." — The Observer

"One of those rare works of art audiences are destined to recall as a deeply personal experience. A powerful piece of writing... The night of Faith Healer is one that still blazes in recollection for me, as religious experiences of art do. And it became a sort of touchstone for me in understanding not only Mr. Friel's work with a depth I hadn't appreciated before but also for defining the elusiveness of great art and the pain of the artist who creates it." — The New York Times

"Mr. Friel writes with a certain Irish lyricism and raises important questions." — Wall Street Journal

"Rich in language and imagery." — The New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Brian Friel (1929-2015) was an Irish dramatist, theatre director and author. One of Ireland's greatest playwrights, he was a leading voice on stages on both sides of the Atlantic. He received his college education in Derry, Maynooth and Belfast and taught at various schools in and around Derry from 1950 to 1960. Often described as the "Irish Chekhov," he has penned more than 30 plays in a career spanning six decades.

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