Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I come! is a highly original piece that launched Friel on the international stage.
Philadelphia, Here I Come! centres around a young man, Gareth (Gar) O’Donnell, and his intended move to the United States and to the city of Philadelphia.
The play takes place on the night before and morning of Gar’s departure to America. Gar is portrayed by two characters, Gar Public (“the Gar that people see, talk to, talk about”) and Gar Private (“the unseen man, the man within, the conscience”).
Gareth lives with his father, County Councillor and shopkeeper, S.B. O’Donnell (“a responsible, respectable citizen”) with whom he has never connected. Gar works for his father in his shop and their relationship is no different to that of Boss and Employee.
Private often makes fun of S.B. calling him “Screwballs” and parodying his nightly routine as a fashion show.
Silken Thomas Players are one of the most successful of Irish amateur groups and we are certain of a fine performance.
Tomorrow (sobriety allowing) I will summarize the results. Current favourites include Newpoint and Dundalk. But we will see tonight!