Brendan Behan was born 100 years ago today on 9th February 1923. A Dublin born poet, writer and playwright, he is regarded as an Irish national treasure.
The Lyric Players staged a production of his first and probably most famous work, The Quare Fellow, in 1969, which was directed by George Mooney.
An Giallwas an Irish-language play by Behan. The Lyric produced this play, with translation by Lorcan O'Treasaigh, in a 1988 production starring John Hewitt, Sean Kearns, with set design by Houston Marshall.
The Lyric production ofBrendan at the Chelsea, a play written by his niece, Janet Behan, received its Irish premiere in the Naughton Studio of the new Lyric Theatre in May 2011, starring and directed by Adrian Dunbar. A major production was revived in 2013 and toured across Ireland and to New York.
Starring Adrian Dunbar as Brendan Behan, the cast also included Samantha Pearl, Pauline Hutton, Richard Orr and Chris Robinson.
It is set in 1960s New York in legendary bohemian bolt hole, The Chelsea Hotel. Brendan is broke, hung over and way past the delivery date of his latest book, the first line of which he has yet to write. He was told to stop drinking or he’d be dead in six months – that was two years ago.
A warm and funny play, it played to critical acclaim and packed houses at the Lyric, and on tour.
Brendan Behan’s plays
The Quare Fellow (1954)
An Giall (The Hostage) (1958)
Richard's Cork Leg (1972)
Moving Out (one-act play, commissioned for radio)
A Garden Party (one-act play, commissioned for radio)
The Big House (1957, one-act play, commissioned for radio)