Wonderful Tennessee

11.95

Wonderful Tennessee, Brian Friel’s first original play since Dancing at Lughnasa, is set — in the present — on the pier in Ballybeg, County Donegal. Three married couples wait for a boatman to arrive to ferry them to Oileán Draíochta, Island of Otherness or Mystery. In the course of a night they talk, sing (the play is laced with songs and music), and tell stories; and what started as an escapade assumes the semblance of a pilgrimage. Gradually, in a beautifully orchestrated and exuberant work, their true relationships and frailties are revealed.

'Irish playwright Brian Friel is great because he acknowledges the insufficiency of language. When the talking stops and his characters bow to the power of music--or silence--Friel’s plays overflow with emotion. — Laurie Winer, Los Angeles Times

 

Wonderful Tennessee is also a tribute to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Its characters are three married couples in their late thirties or early forties who embark on a trip from Dublin to a mysterious island off the shore of the North coast of Donegal, in Ballybeg, the perennial set for Friel’s plays. These three couples will wait on an abandoned pier in vain for the archetypical ferryman, Carlin (the mythological Charon), who never turns up. This cul-de-sac situation is Friel’s excuse to reflect on those issues that preoccupied him at the time of writing: the power of the irrational over the human being, violence, the passage of time, and, above all, mystery, the yearning of humanity for something which is superior to us but which nonetheless mystifies us. — María Gaviña-Costero, Estudios Irlandaeses

Year Published: 1993
Details: 96pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 114 4
ISBN HBK: 978 1 85235 115 1

Wonderful Tennessee, Brian Friel’s first original play since Dancing at Lughnasa, is set — in the present — on the pier in Ballybeg, County Donegal.

Three married couples wait for a boatman to arrive to ferry them to Oileán Draíochta, Island of Otherness or Mystery. In the course of a night they talk, sing (the play is laced with songs and music), and tell stories; and what started as an escapade assumes the semblance of a pilgrimage. Gradually, in a beautifully orchestrated and exuberant work, their true relationships and frailties are revealed.

The Gallery Press