4.2 (5) · Classic Drama

Brian Friel’s modern classic is a powerful account of nationhood

“Returning to the National, this brilliant play about British cultural colonialism in Ireland is clever, powerful and moving. The brilliant Ciaran Hinds leads the cast in a show that was a huge hit with critics & audiences alike in 2018.”


Brian Friel’s modern classic is a powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community.

Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones, Girl from the North Country) reprises his critically acclaimed role of patriarch and schoolmaster, Hugh, whose livelihood and culture are at risk.

Owen, the prodigal son, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin. With him are two British army officers. Their ambition is to create a map of the area, replacing the Gaelic names with English. It is an administrative act with radical consequences.

Critic reviews

Stunning revival of poignant tragicomedy

The Arts Desk

Ian Rickson's atmospheric and richly performed revival of Brian Friel's play returns to the National

The Stage

Translations is a splendid show that brings the theatregoer’s attention to our words and the humanity they contain

The Upcoming

Translations deserves its reputation as a modern classic, and this production simply enhances that notion even further

Theatre Weekly

Precisely what the National Theatre was set up for - a fine play reinterpreted in a first-class manner by a magnificent team lead by a splendid director

London Box Office

Brian Friel's Translations, now nearly 40 years old, captures the best of humanity whilst avoiding even a teaspoon of sickly romanticism

Broadway World

Intricate and thoughtful but curiously uninvolving

Evening Standard

Ian Rickson's superbly balanced production brings out the humour as well as the pathos of Friel's play


Ian Rickson's exquisitely brooding revival of Brian Friel’s masterpiece is back at the NT

Time Out

Sharply funny, heart-searingly romantic, incredibly sad, and everything else inbetween

A Younger Theatre

Date & time

Show ended
Until Wed 18 Dec, 2pm & 7.30pm
Runtime: 2 hrs 30 mins


South Bank SE1 9PX London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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