The play that launched Brian Friel onto the international stage and transformed modern Irish theatre.
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 invite from his aunt to move to Philadelphia. Through Friels innovative techniques we soon learn on the night and morning before his departure, the young Gar is not that happy to leave. Gars, alter ego or the private self is given a personae so the audience see two Gars on the stage, both private and public. Through a reserved Public Gar 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.
Shakespeare In the Glen is delighted to bring their production of this play to Brú Ború. Director, Joanne Ryan wants to convey the universality of this dichotomy between the public and the private self, not only in Gar, but every character in the play and indeed the audience. 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 personae, separated from our actual realities. While we can easily resolve this, we do struggle to connect the two realities.