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Faith Healer Paperback – November 19, 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Brian Friel was born in Omagh, County Tyrone, in 1929. His plays include Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, Faith Healer, Making History, Dancing at Lughnasa and The Home Place.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (November 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571214584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571214587
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
Like Friel’s equally brilliant Molly Sweeney (1994), Faith Healer (1979) is presented as a series of separated monologues. And again as in Molly Sweeney, there are three characters, two men and a woman, whose lives are intertwined in a deep love that somehow works only to destroy them because their individual stories –the life narratives they’ve fashioned, each for one’s self-- don’t so much connect the three as tear them down. It’s very, very Irish, at least as much as I know Irish drama, both in the rich expressiveness of the language –oh, what a treasure it is in this beautiful play!— and in the way the characters are bound and ultimately undone by the stories they have fashioned themselves to continue pushing forward in their hard, not notably loving world.

The faith healer is Frank Hardy, a man blessed but also cursed by the gift of healing with touch and words. The problem is that his gift isn’t a permanent thing: it’s an on-again/off-again maybe/maybe-not business, which leaves him most of the time left with faking it, knowing he’s doomed to failure. Blindness, the inability to walk, a crooked finger –at the right time, he heals all manner of ailments and disfigurements, but most of the time he knows in his soul what he really is, which is un-gifted, a charlatan, a failure at the one thing that could distinguish him. Souza is a fluent and charismatic actor, who is able to reel out thirty-minutes monologues in continuous Irish brogue without ever sounding like he’s acting. When he’s on stage, you don’t move your eyes off him, he’s that good.

His partners on stage are his wife Grace and Teddy, his cockney-ish manager. They don’t appear on the stage together.
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I'm fresh from seeing the revival starring Ralph Fiennes, Cherry Jones and Ian McDiarmid--and was completely blown away. Friel manages an almost Rashomon-like effect, in showing the same events from the very different memories of the three characters.
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