Monday 1 December 2008

New Friel Centre

According to The Stage a new state of the art research facility in Queen's Univerity Belfast will be named after playwright Brian Friel.

Already an honorary graduate of the university, the Northern Ireland-born playwright, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in January, will give his name to the Brian Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research. The complex, within the university's south Belfast campus, will form part of Queen's Centre for Drama and Film Studies, which was opened in 2004 at a cost of £1.6 million, complete with a 120-seat studio theatre.

The Centre for Theatre Research is an entirely new development and will, says David Johnston, head of the university's school of languages, literature and performing arts, "be a fitting tribute to Ireland's greatest living playwright by providing a focus for cutting-edge research into theatre practice".

Acknowledging the accolade, Friel said he hoped the new facilities would help the university's students "nurture their talent and develop the skills necessary to succeed on the stage and screen".

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