Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Master's work an intimate delight

Set in the present day, Brian Friel's Performances is the story of a graduate student interviewing deceased world-renowned composer Janacek as part of her PhD thesis.

Throughout their discourse the story is revealed of the obsessive nature of Janacek's deep love for his much younger married lover, his muse for his second quartet, Intimate Letters.

Directed by actor Adrian Dunbar and written by Ireland's revered multi award-winning dramatist, Friel once again shows the magnitude of his creativity with a deeply insightful and philosophical debate delving into many theoretical concepts.

Scarred by her own ill-fated experience of a love letter correspondence, the young student Anezka conjures the famous composer Janacek to question him on her theory, which they debate furiously.

The impassioned performance from both actors captivated the audience while the beautiful music of the Brodsky quartet mirrored the mood of the characters.

Performed in the atmospheric Great Hall at Magee University of Ulster campus, the surroundings accommodated only a small audience, making the experience all the more intimate.

FIONNUALA O'KANE

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