The Freedom of the City

by  Brian Friel

Full Length Play, Drama  /  16m, 1f

"Friel fleshes the awful, numbing casualty statistics and gives them breath and life." - The Sunday Telegraph

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The Freedom of the City

by  Brian Friel

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    16m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Set in Londonderry in 1970, this gripping drama by the acclaimed author of Faith Healer and Translations explores the ongoing Irish “troubles” that plague the country to this day. An unauthorized Civil Rights March has been dispersed, and three demonstrators, two young men, and a middle-aged mother of eleven take refuge in the Town Hall. Hysterical rumor inflates the trio to forty armed rebels, and they are besieged. When they surrender, they are shot.
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Reviews

"Friel fleshes the awful, numbing casualty statistics and gives them breath and life." - The Sunday Telegraph

"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

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre

Cautions

  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1970s
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: Derry City, Northern Ireland. 1970.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

16m, 1f
LILY - 43. Has 11 children and her body has long since settled into its own comfortable contours. But poverty and child-bearing have not completely obliterated the traces of earl prettiness.
SKINNER - 21. Very lean, very tense, very restless. He is described as "glib" but the adjective is less than just. A quick volatile mind driving a lean body.
MICHAEL - 22. Strong, regular features, but not handsome.
PRESS PHOTOGRAPHSE
PRIEST
JUDGE
POLICE CONSTABLE
DR. DOBBS - Sociologist
BALLAD SINGER
BRIGADIER JOHNSON HANSBURY
ARMY PRESS OFFICER
DR. WINBOURNE - Forensic expert
PROFESSOR CUPPLEY - Pathologist
LIAM O'KELLEY - RTE Commentator
SOLDIERS, REPORTERS, BARKEEP
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Cast Attributes

  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Brian Friel

Brian Friel (1929-2015) largely considered modern Ireland's leading playwright, was born to a schoolmaster and a postmistress. After working as a teacher in Derry for ten years, he married Anne Morrison and moved to Donegal to begin writing in earnest. His first significant theatrical success was Philadelphia, Here I C ...

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The Freedom of the City was first presented in the United States at the Goodman Theatre Center in Chicago, Illinois. It was directed by William Woodman. The play was subsequently presented Off Broadway by Konrad Matthaei and Hale Matthews at the Alvin Theatre in New York City on February 17, 1974. It was also directed by William Woodman.

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