Faith Healer by Brian Friel starring Donal Mc Cann as Francis Hardy, John Kavanagh as his Manager, Teddy and Kate Flynn as his wife Grace was an absolute tour de force when it premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 1980.
To an Irish audience the role of Francis Hardy is synonymous with Donal Mc Cann who gave what is considered to be one of the great performances of modern Irish theatre in the production directed by Joe Dowling.
Recalling the performance, The Guardian wrote:
“…The New York Times hailed him as an “astonishing Irish actor”. The comment echoed reviews for his performance in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer at the Abbey theatre, Dublin, in 1980, when, standing alone in the spotlight, interpreting Friel’s magic in that pain-filled cream-and-whiskey voice, he had audiences mesmerised. On the first night there was a silence of several seconds before the spell was broken and the applause erupted.”