Skip to main content
LOGO: Queen's University Belfast

Friel Reimagined


Exhibition - Friel Reimagined: A Playwright's Works in Progress

This exhibition reveals pivotal creative moments as Brian Friel goes through the painstaking crafting of five of his key plays.

Friel reimagined
January 20, 2023 - March 5, 2023
McClay Library, Queen's University Belfast, 10 College Park, Belfast, BT7 1LP
08:00 - 19:00
Admission is free but booking required (bookings open Friday 9th December).

As Brian Friel (1929-2015) drafted his plays, a cascade of notes emerged from his writing desk – from urgent scrawls to quiet musings. Over time, these turned into page upon diligent page of typescript drafts, not a line of which escaped his incisive correcting pen on the way to their final form.

Within the Friel Papers at the National Library of Ireland, and now on the Brian Friel Digital Archive hosted by Queen’s University and JSTOR, we are given access to the voluminous output of a master of his craft. This exhibition introduces a selection of Friel's rich archive - exploring significant moments of creative transformation as the dramatist developed five iconic works across four decades: Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), The Freedom of the City (1973), Faith Healer (1979), Translations (1980) and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990).

Newly commissioned essays by international Friel scholars provide insight into Friel's creative process, and imaginative illustrations by emerging and established artists feature alongside a range of publications on Friel drawn from the University's Special Collections.

Dates and times

QUB Staff and Students: Free admission during Library opening hours

General Public: Free admission but advance booking required


This exhibition is part of the Friel Reimagined Project at Queen’s University Belfast, produced in partnership with JSTOR and the National Library of Ireland, and with the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Steel Charitable Trust. The original archival papers presented in the exhibition are held at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin; they are copyright of the Brian Friel Estate and reproduced with kind permission.

Event type
School of Arts, English and Languages
Add to calendar
Event Organiser Details