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Irish playwright Brian Friel dies aged 86

Friel was the author of plays such as Dancing at Lughnasa and Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Brian Friel with wife Anne Morrison at the opening of Fathers and Sons at the Donmar last year
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Playwright Brian Friel, best known for plays such as Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Dancing at Lughnasa has passed away this morning at the age of 86.

Born in Omagh, Co Tyrone, in 1929, Friel wrote more than thirty plays in a career that spanned six decades. Perhaps his most successful play, Dancing at Lughnasa, won three Tony Awards including Best Play and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play. It was also turned into a film in 1998, starring Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon and Kathy Burke.

A 'beautifully orchestrated revival' of his 1987 play Fathers and Sons played at the Donmar Warehouse last year, starring Caoilfhionn Dunne and Seth Numrich and directed by Lyndsey Turner.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Morrison, their four daughters and their son.

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