Friel Reimagined is a unique drama research and engagement project based in the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Steel Charitable Trust.
Friel Reimagined is based on five of Friel’s best-known and most-loved plays: Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), The Freedom of the City (1973), Faith Healer (1979), Translations (1980) & Dancing at Lughnasa (1990).
The project’s Illustrators-in-Residence Programme invited five illustrators based in Ireland / Northern Ireland to choose one of the five plays and explore its themes, characters and setting using their own illustration style.
I chose to illustrate The Freedom of the City, first produced in 1973. It is set in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1970, in the aftermath of a Civil Rights meeting, and follows three protesters who mistakenly find themselves in the mayor’s parlour in the Guildhall.
The resulting illustrations will introduce the work of Friel to diverse audiences both online and at in-person events and also help to promote the project outputs, including digital content and the archival exhibition upcoming in 2022.