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The Freedom of the City

The Freedom of the City
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Brian Friel
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 82
Pub. Date: 1974
ISBN-10: 0573609152
ISBN-13: 9780573609152
Cast Size: 1 woman, 16 men

About the Play:

Freedom of the City is a full-length drama by Brian Friel. Three non-violent Irish protestors seek refuge in the Lord Mayor's office in 1970 Londonderry, but are killed by British troops brought in to keep order, in Brian Friel's drama, said to be based on real events.

Freedom of the City is Brian Friel's most overtly political play. This gripping drama concerns the killing of three innocent civil-rights marchers in Derry by British soldiers. Set during the aftermath of a civil rights meeting, it parallels the events of "Bloody Sunday". An unauthorized Civil Rights March has been dispersed and three demonstrators, two young men and a middle-aged mother of 11, take refuge in the Town Hall. Hysterical rumour inflates the trio to 40 armed rebels and they are besieged. When they surrender they are shot.

Freedom of the City premiered in 1973 at The Abbey, Ireland's National Theatre. Its US premiere was in 1974 at the Goodman Theatre Center in Chicago, Illinois, transferrng to Off Broadway at the Alvin Theatre in New York City.

Cast: 1 woman, 16 men

What people say:

"Friel fleshes the awful, numbing casualty statistics and gives them breath and life." — The Sunday Telegraph (London)

"Friel has written the best Northern Irish play since the present troubles began; it is also the least tainted by propaganda or the simplifications to which such a subject becomes prone." — The Financial Times (London)

About the Playwright:

Brian Friel (1929-2015) was an Irish dramatist, theatre director and author who was for decades 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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