2 July-25 Aug 2005. Gathering for a wedding at their ancestral residence in Donegal, the family of the dying district justice O'Donnell stay on for a funeral and to take time out from the patriarchs accusations and recriminations to tell old tales and invent new ones about crumbling Ballybeg Hall in its once majestic heyday. This Chekovian play by Brian Friel in 1979 follows the three sisters and their oddball brother whose family drama offers a wider resonance of the tensions of their society as well. The writers work frequently borrows from the great Russian playwrights and manages both to retain a feeling for the original style while adding its own freshness and a distinctly Irish flavour.
First seen at Dublin's Abbey Theatre, this production at the National Theatre Lyttelton is directed and designed by Tom Cairns, and has a cast including Sam Beazley, Brian Doherty, Dervla Kirwan, and Peter McDonald. Tickets cost 10-36. Showing Mon-Sat 19.30 (Sat 14.15).
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Lyttelton Theatre (National Theatre), South Bank London SE1 9PX. The nearest tube station is Waterloo. Tel.: +44-2074523000 (tickets).