Friday 30 September 2016

Bright lights of Broadway dimmed in memory of Irish playwright Brian Friel

Published 09/12/2015 | 07:33

Brian Friel in the auditorium at Belfast's Grand Opera House before the the final performance of his play, The Homeplace.
Brian Friel in the auditorium at Belfast's Grand Opera House before the the final performance of his play, The Homeplace.

The bright lights of Broadway have been dimmed in memory of renowned Irish playwright Brian Friel.

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The Tony award-winning writer, who penned Dancing at Lughnasa, which was adapted for a film starring Meryl Streep, died in October at the age of 86.

The popular work was among a number to achieve success on the Broadway stage, with others including Philadelphia, Here I Come and The Freedom of the City.

The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York dimmed their lights for one minute on Tuesday evening, in honour of a man who has been described as "a colossus in theatre".

The tradition of dimming the lights for theatre greats is said to date back decades and is for people who are "synonymous with Broadway".

Charlotte St Martin, president of the Broadway League, said: "Known as a gifted storyteller whose work achieved international acclaim for over four decades, Brian Friel's writing explored social and political life in Ireland through lyrical dramas which played notably on the Broadway stage.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and many fans."

Friel was born in Killyclogher, near Omagh, Co Tyrone, in 1929.

He moved to Londonderry with his family at the age of 10 and then to Greencastle, Co Donegal, in the 1960s, where he penned most of his great works.

The teacher-turned-writer died on October 2.

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