On the final Sunday of November, director Judy Davis and the creative team behind Faith Healer sat down with our Artistic Director Eamon Flack to talk about the joys and challenges involved in bringing Brian Friel’s masterpiece to life, as well as the time Colin Friels thought he’d ruined his career backstage at Belvoir.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation.
Judy Davis on her initial response to Faith Healer:
“My initial feeling was I’m just not sure how theatrical this piece is and I am a believer in the theatre as a theatrical experience for the audience, and that may sound obvious and you would assume that, but often it’s not achieved. That was a query I had about the piece. But what’s intriguing about it is we read it once, we read it twice, and then Colin wanted to read it out loud … it was only in reading it out loud where I thought this could be extraordinary. So it’s a misleading play.”
Brian Thomson on the set design:
“I went to Judy thinking maybe Judy would want an old hall or something because all the other productions ever done of this have been in an old hall or in naturalistic settings for each of the characters. And Judy said, ‘No, I don’t want that at all. I want a space where if you fell off the edge of it, you would fall of the edge of the world.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s some brief’. That’s as good a brief as I’ve ever got in almost fifty years of working in theatre.”