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Faith Healer

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Lauded for his rhythmical and supple writing, charged with despair and enchantment, Brian Friel's play Faith Healer was first produced at the Longacre Theatre, New York, in 1979 and revived by the Almeida Theatre, London, in 2001.
Paperback, 58 pages
Published 2001 by Faber and Faber (first published 1980)
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Feb 18, 2015 Declan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland
When I recently read Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart - a novel which consists of a sequence of monologues - I was disappointed because of the monotone which was maintained across almost all of the voices, male and female; young and old. What a contrast to Brian Friel's 'Faith Healer', in which four monologues are delivered by three characters (Frank Hardy, the faith healer speaks at the beginning and the end).

Here each voice is as distinctive as it is compelling and with much of the detail impli
Oct 03, 2011 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
When people ask me, "What is your favorite book?" I always tell them Faith Healer by Brian Friel. I first read this play before I saw the 2006 performance of it at the Booth Theater in NYC. There is something about this play that struck me at the time I read it, and having re-read it several times and writing my MA thesis on it, I still haven't lost that feeling. Maybe it's because I see a little of myself in each character, maybe it's because I enjoy pondering how memory works and how so much o ...more
Oct 28, 2012 Anastasia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this play. I could read it over and over. And I have. I performed this play in NYC. I played Grace. The play is divided into parts where each charcter tells their side of the story. Grace is The Faith Healer's woman. She has such a heartwrenching part and the beauty of the language almost plays the part for you.

There is a baby. There is the faith healer. There is Grace and there is the manager. The manager reminds me of the Old Man in Fool for Love, but the manager has a much bigger part
Danny Daley
Jul 09, 2016 Danny Daley rated it really liked it
Every time I read one of Friel's plays, I insist that he may be the most exciting discovery of my deeper foray into Irish literature. His settings and characters are so real. The structure of this particular play is odd, as there isn't really much in the way of activity. On the stage, the play features little more than three people standing on stage and telling their own versions of the central story. It's become a classic trope - the various versions of the story do not match, and the audience ...more
Tracie Stokka
Apr 07, 2013 Tracie Stokka rated it it was amazing
When I was in Ireland in 2006, I saw "The Faith Healer" played by Ralph Fiennes. It was pure luck as the play had been sold out for weeks, and we happened to show up at the theatre for a matinee where tickets were unclaimed. I was familiar with some of Friel's other works and expected good things. However, this play blew me away. It was the most meaningful audience experience that I've ever had.
Nov 28, 2007 Ronald rated it it was amazing
You want to read a play that offers itself like a novella and still retains its dramatic tautness, this is the one. Brian Friel is one of the great Irish playwrights. This piece is written in four monologues for three characters. I've had the pleasure of doing the play, and it remains one of the quintessential actor's challenges -- to hold the audience all by yourself. I revel in this storytelling.
James Hollomon
Oct 16, 2015 James Hollomon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who love philosophical literature.
Recommended to James by: A Bing Search for books about faith healers.
A fascinating look into human thought and superstition. In Faith Healer, the award winning Northern Irish playwright, Brian Friel, takes the reader inside a starving faith healer's two-bit traveling road show. The story unfolds as a series of four monologues narrated by the three characters in the play, faith healer Francis (Frank) Hardy, his longsuffering wife Gracie, and his Cockney stage manager, Teddy. The short story includes Friel's rough notes for stage settings.

On a bare stage with a col
May 01, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: play
This play consists of four monologues from three people, one of whom is Frank Hardy, faith healer; and the other two of whom are his wife Grace and his manager Teddy. They each recount the same tale in very different ways, and it's often the variations in the retelling that's more interesting than the story itself. They would go into small towns in Wales, Scotland, England, and Ireland, performing faith healings on people who are so desperate they'll try anything even though they hate themselves ...more
Andy Luke
Mar 14, 2015 Andy Luke rated it really liked it
Each character's perspective uniquely builds the story, implicating the others as not just different, but liars, each pushing the story out through subtle twists and trysts and turns so rapid. I found the ending a little disappointing but the tale as surprising as a self-healing gut punch and the characters as enticing as chocolate manure.
Who do you trust? That's one of the challenges of Faith Healer. This play focuses on three characters, all talking about their lives together -- how they met, fell in love, saw their relationships break and crumble, and their eventual downward spiral after one fatal night.

Each character gives a monologue of their view of what happened, each with their own similarities and differences. But who's telling the truth? Who do you put your faith in?

This play deals with adultery, alcoholism, death, and
Jun 12, 2016 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Four powerful monologues in a play that cannot leave you untouched.
Hannah Galloon
Mar 10, 2016 Hannah Galloon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A very interesting and dark read! Explored lots about how people's narrative can distort the truth and I really enjoyed piecing the story together. As past of my English coursework this year we have to do two text transformations, and I think I found this one a bit (or a lot) too confusing to really inspire me right now, but I may come back to this one to try and understand it a bit more!
Jul 06, 2012 Frank rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favourite Friel. No, I haven't read them all, about seven I'd guess. The lyrical opening to this is brilliant, and the interplay between the characters is also mesmerising. As plays go, the series of monologues gives this a quality bordering on the novelistic when read as a text. I think I may own three different copies of this. Moving, surprising, vital.
Lucia Gannon
A dark, sad and thoroughly engaging, if very quick, read. I rarely read plays. This is not a typical play in that it is structured in 4 narrative parts with each character reflecting on life events that had a significant but different effect on each of them.
It would stimulate me to read more of Brian Friel's plays
Jun 13, 2015 Steven rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays, irish
Four monologues about a faith healer and a psychic.
Nov 13, 2013 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Read it in one sitting. Raw and illuminating. Would love to see it performed. A challenging role for the actors, being four lengthy monologues.
Aug 26, 2009 Sandy added it
I will see a production of this in Edinburgh, so I've got to read it before then!
Erika S
Apr 08, 2009 Erika S rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
FANTASTIC play. Highly highly recommend.
Rijula D
Feb 25, 2013 Rijula D rated it it was amazing
it changed my life.
Jul 26, 2011 Mia rated it it was amazing
love love love this
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Radio 3 listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Dominic Pakenham rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2016
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Ruth Raymer rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2016
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Brian Friel is a playwright and, more recently, director of his own works from Ireland who now resides in County Donegal.

Friel was born in Omagh County Tyrone, the son of Patrick "Paddy" Friel, a primary school teacher and later a borough councillor in Derry, and Mary McLoone, postmistress of Glenties, County Donegal (Ulf Dantanus provides the most detail regarding Friel's parents and grandparents
More about Brian Friel...

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