Dublin Theatre Festival

Gate Theatre


By Brian Friel

Venue Gate Theatre

Directed by Patrick Mason
Designed by Joe Vanek
Lighting designed by Paul Keogan
Cast includes Leos Janacek, Nicola Sweeney, Jana Ludvickova, Fay Sweet and Tony Woollard

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The Gate has had a long and rich association with Brian Friel spanning almost forty years. Most recently, the Gate premiered The Bear and Afterplay under the collective title Two Plays After, which subsequently enjoyed a highly-acclaimed run at the Spoleto Festival, following which Afterplay, starring John Hurt and Penelope Wilton, transferred to the West End for a 15 week run.

In the world premičre of Brian Friel's Performances, the playwright's words entwine with the music of Leos Janácek's final string quartet, Intimate Letters, to create an illuminating, unique and profoundly moving theatrical experience with an exciting combination of actors and musicians. Janácek wrote his String Quartet No. 2 (Intimate Letters as he named it) over a period of three weeks in January/February 1928. He was then in his 74th year. He died the following August. While he was composing Intimate Letters, every day, sometimes twice a day, he wrote extravagant, passionate love letters to Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 37 years his junior. Performances looks at Janácek's frantic life during those intoxicated weeks; and specifically at his obsession with Kamila and the manifestation of that passion in the themes of the Quartet.

Nicola Sweeney, Jana Ludvickova, Fay Sweet and Tony Woollard make up the highly acclaimed Alba String Quartet, whose performance of Intimate Letters interweaves throughout the play.

With the support of the Culture 2000 Programme of the European Union

Culture 2000 Partners: Almeida Theatre, Divaldo Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival

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