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Philadelphia, Here I Come! : A Comedy in Three Acts Paperback – February 24, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (February 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571085865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571085866
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brian Friel is undoubtedly one of the finest playwrights working in the English language today." --Daily Telegraph

"Of all contemporary authors, there is no one I admire more highly than Brian Friel." --Peter Brooke

About the Author

Brian Friel was born in Omagh, County Tyrone (Northern Ireland) in 1929. He received his college education in Derry, Maynooth and Belfast and taught at various schools in and around Derry from 1950 to 1960. He is the author of many plays that have taken their place in the canon of Irish Literature, including Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), Lovers (1967), Translations (1980), The Communication Cord (1982), and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). In 1980 he founded the touring theatre company, Field Day, with Stephen Rea.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Costello on April 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
We all have our little people within ourselves, that little voice that criticizes us when we know we are lying to ourself. Friel took this one step further: he put this self on stage. The main character in this play, Gar O'Donnel, is divided into a public and private half in this play on Gar's last night in Ireland before he goes to philadelphia. The public half is Gar's usual self: boisterous with friends, shy around his father and failed girlfriend, and respectful towards the old housekeeper. However at every step the private Gar is by his side, railing against the terrible monotony of life and leaving. The ending confrontation between Gar(s) and his father is at once moving and terribly tragic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jack Cunneen on August 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this play, Friel beautifully captures the loss felt that comes with leaving the green fields of Ireland to look for a better life. Friel step by step mirrors the way of life in Ireland perfectly, bring home to us all the reality of life in those days in rural Ireland. His father, unable to express his own emotions, can but make idle small talk to the son he my never see again......Gars friends, the "boys", though over 20 still boast of fictional conquests as if they were in the grip of adolesence....the sufficating sameness of day to day life in a rural village, aspects of Irish past, and sometimes present society which is often over looked by Irish writers are brillantly portrayed in this journey inside the mind of a boy about to leave all he knows, and hopefully become a man in the process. "Philadelphia, Here I come" is a story to be cherished by all that have made the journey themselves, those who still remember the Ireland of the past, and those seeking an insider view of a young mans mind. It is a must, something that you will read again and again, and something which everyone, both Irish and otherwise, will identify with forever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damian O'Leary on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this play at the age of 16, as I played the part of SB in a production in secondary school. It's on the English syllabus in Ireland, attesting to its significance in modern Irish drama. I like the play but its one major failing is that Gar, especially through Gar Private, is very often reduced to a stereotypical, stage Irish man. While his constant jokes do serve to highlight his frustration at the monotony of his life, and especially the lack of communication between him and his father, his constant chatter, and unbridled spontaneity are too overpowering and detract from what is otherwise a beautiful play. My favourite scene, and the scene I loved playing most is when SB is alone on stage and goes over to Gar's room and looks at his son's suitcases. For the first time, the mask drops and we see that he is a man of feeling who can not voice his inner hurt and turmoil. The end is lovely, the theme of memory, deceptive and alusive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By colin_pegg@hotmail.com on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is set in play format with a strange inclusion of the antagonists alter ego the two characters are Public the man everyone sees and Private the man no one sees or hears only Public can hear him. Together they make up Gar. The play is set the night before Gar is set to leave Ireland and move to Philadelphia. The story focuses not on his leaving but more on his escape from his unexciting father. The inclusion of Private Gar added humour and explanation of events in the play. An enjoyable play with greats dialog and a good story.
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Philadelphia, Here I Come! : A Comedy in Three Acts
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