A chance meeting

Not a play, but a chance meeting at the Westbury Hotel. Brian was there for the mounting of one of his plays. My husband and I rode the elevator down to the lobby with him. We got out at the lobby but he continued down to the lower floor.

I said to my husband, “That man looks so familiar.” Charlie said, “that was Brian Friel.” Charlie performed in many of Brian’s plays in Los Angeles and Seattle under the direction of Warner Shook, but had never met Brian.

When we went down to the bar, we discovered Brian was sitting alone having a pint. My husband did not want to bother him, but I went over and told him how much I enjoyed his plays, but that I had only seen them in the US, directed by our friend Warner Shook. Brian was delighted to hear we knew Warner and asked after him. Charlie filled Brian in and the two of them had a long animated conversation about theatre in Ireland and the US. I did not get a word in edgewise, but was thrilled to listen to them.

Barbara Hallahan

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