The Home Place

New Brian Friel play for the Lyric to star Conleth Hill and Ian McElhinney

It is the summer of 1878, a time of unrest and the early days of the Home Rule movement. The fateful events of The Home Place, a new play by Brian Friel, take place over a single day at The Lodge in Ballybeg, the Donegal home of the Gores, a planter family.

The Gores, father and son, are both in love with Margaret, their housekeeper. All three pursue a hopeful dream of freedom from their history and heritage and the 'awful burden' of the big house. The situation quickly unravels, accelerated by Gore's cousin Richard, who unwittingly insults and inflames the local population during an already volatile time.

Friel's brilliantly crafted drama, soon to be produced by the Lyric Theatre, continues the historical probing which in his previous play Translations examines the tragic effects of a military operation to map the physical contours of the Irish landscape. 

In The Home Place, an exercise to determine the Irish character unleashes the tragedy, which revolves around the ideas of national identity, love and belonging. The Home Place is set to run in the Grand Opera House from February 10-21, starring Conleth Hill and Ian McElhinney.

McElhinney takes the lead role of Christopher Gore and double Olivier Award winner, Conleth Hill, returns to a Lyric production after major successes in the West End and Broadway.

The cast also includes Stuart Graham, back on stage after his extraordinary role in the acclaimed film Hunger, Lalor Roddy, Miche Doherty and Aislin McGuckin, the Fermanagh-born actress who is a regular on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Direction is by Mick Gordon and design by Ferdia Murphy, the same team which brought the hugely successful production of Dancing at Lughnasa to the old Lyric stage in 2007.

Mounted with the full backing and involvement of Friel himself, The Home Place will be one of the largest Lyric productions in recent years and features a cast of twelve in full period costume and set. This will be only the second time in the Lyric’s history when one of its productions will be presented on the stage of the Grand Opera House.

The production runs at the Grand Opera House, Belfast from February 10-21. The show also tours to the An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Market Place Theatre, Armagh and the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Cork Opera House and Town Hall Theatre, Galway.