Field Day Celebrates Seamus Deane

New lecture series honours the life of the theatre company's Derry-born co-founder, 35 years on from its first production's premiere

Field Day, the renowned theatre and Irish studies company founded by playwright Brian Friel and actor/director Stephen Rea, has launched a new series of annual lectures to celebrate the life and work of company co-director Seamus Deane.

Entitled 'Republics That Were and Might Be', the inaugural Seamus Deane Honorary Field Day Lecture will be delivered by the Derry native himself at the Playhouse Theatre from 7pm on Saturday, September 12.

As professor emeritus at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Indiana's University of Notre Dame and a Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist with a prolific backlist of publications, Deane has an international reputation in the world of literature and literary criticism

‘Seamus Deane is the finest critical thinker to come out of Ireland in my lifetime,' said BAFTA-winning actor and co-director Rea, who will be in attendance at the event. 'He has provided the intellectual framework of the entire Field Day project since its foundation in 1980 and his ideas have been disseminated throughout the world.

Field Day manager Ciaran Deane says with this new lecture series, the 35-year-old company 'aims to bring to Derry some of the world’s leading artists and thinkers who have the potential to make the city an international centre of intellectual discovery every year.' Professor Joe Cleary of Maynooth University will introduce the event and host a Q&A afterward. 

September also marks 35 years since the original premiere of Brian Friel's Translations at the Guildhall, a play which was reproduced by Adrian Dunbar in 2013 as part of Derry's City of Culture programme. It was the first of many Field Day plays to debut at the venue before travelling throughout Ireland and the world.

Tickets for the Seamus Deane Honorary Field Day Lecture, priced at £5 or £3 concession, can be booked at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.