Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Field Day
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Field Day


Field Day Theatre Company was founded in 1980 by Stephen Rea and Brian Friel. With the resumption of its annual theatre programme, featuring Frank McGuinness's adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, Field Day embarks on the second phase of its existence as a theatrical and publishing project. The proposed Theatre Workshop in Derry, linked with the Derry City Council, is also a sign of Field Day's commitment to the city and to the idea of a theatre that has been embodied in Field Day's productions to date and that will be further developed by both the workshop and the annual theatrical production.


In addition to Volume IV of the Field Day anthology, Field Day is embarking on a new series of publications, in association with Cork University Press and Notre Dame University Press. It will be called Critical Conditions: Field Day Essays.

The aim of this series is to publish collections of articles by people who have done or are doing distinguished work in relation to Ireland. Such collections would make available to a wider audience material otherwise confined to the readership of specialist journals.

The essays will be concerned with Irish history, cinema, literature, geography, politics; they will be notable contributions to the current debates on the writing of history, the critique of ideology, postcolonial theory, political and social issues, literature and aesthetics. Future contributors may include Siobhan Kilfeather, Máirín Ní Dhonnacadha, David Lloyd, Seamus Deane, Kevin Barry.

Field Day 1980-95 record of achievements



Brenda Scallon and Liam Neeson in TranslationsWorld premiere and tour of Translations by Brian Friel, directed by Art O'Briain


Tour of Chekhov's Three Sisters, adapted by Brian Friel, directed by Stephen Rea


World premiere and tour of Brian Friel's The Communication Cord, directed by Joe Dowling


Deirdre Donnelly in Boesman and LenaTour of Athol Fugard's Boesman and Lena, directed by Clare Davidson


World premiere and tour of The Riot Act by Tom Paulin (after Sophocles' Antigone), directed by Stephen Rea, and of High Time by Derek Mahon (after Molière's L'Ecole des Maris), directed by Emil Wolk and Mark Long.


World premiere and tour of Thomas Kilroy's Double Cross, directed by Jim Sheridan


World premiere and tour of Stewart Barker's Pentecost, directed by Patrick Mason


Stephen Rea in Making HistoryWorld premiere and tour of Brian Friel's Making History, directed by Simon Curtis


Stephen Rea in Saint OscarWorld premiere and tour of Terry Eagleton's Saint Oscar, directed by Trevor Griffiths


World premiere and tour of Seamus Des McAleer in the Cure of TroyHeaney's The Cure At Troy (after Sophocles' Philoctetes), directed by Stephen Rea and Bob Crowley


World premiere and tour of Thomas Kilroy's The Madame Macadam Travelling Theatre, directed by Jim Nolan


Play reading of David Rudkin's Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin, in Derry, Belfast, Dublin, directed by Judy Friel


Frank McGuinness's adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, directed by Peter Gill

The 1980, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 productions all transferred to London, to the Royal Court (1980 and 86), National Theatre (1988), Hampstead Theatre (1989), Tricycle Theatre (1990).

Stage events


Poetry and Music by Seamus Deane, Tom Paulin, Seamus Heaney, David Hammond, Arty McGlynn and Nollaig O'Casey, at the Guildhall, Derry


Narratives by Field Day Directors, at the Royal Festival Hall, London


Yeats: A Fifty Year Salute, a public lecture by Seamus Heaney, at the Guildhall, Derry Narratives - repeat performance at the Guildhall Derry


Speaking of Translation: poetry readings by Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and Carol Ann Duffy, at the Royal Festival Hall, London


Poetry reading by Ted Hughes, sponsored by Field Day, Impact '92 Festival, at the Guildhall, Derry


Field Day pamphlet series

  1. 1983. Seamus Deane, Civilians and Barbarians; Tom Paulin, A New Look at the Language Question; Seamus Heaney, An Open Letter

  2. 1984. Seamus Deane, Heroic Styles: The Tradition of an Idea; Richard Kearney, Myth and Motherland; Declan Kiberd, Anglo-Irish Attitudes

  3. 1985. The Protestant Idea of Liberty: Marianne Elliott, Watchmen in Sion; Terence Brown, The Whole Protestant Community: The Making of an Historical Myth; Robert McCartney, Liberty and Authority in Ireland

  4. 1986. Emergency Legislation: Eanna Molloy, Dynasties of Coercion; Michael Farrell, The Apparatus of Repression; Patrick McGrory, Law and the Constitution: Present Discontents

  5. 1988. Nationalism, Colonialism and Literature: Fredric Jameson, Modernism and Imperialism; Terry Eagleton, Nationalism, Irony and Commitment; Edward Said, Yeats and Decolonisation

First six pamphlets (Series 1 and 2) collected and published as Ireland's Field Day (London: Hutchinson, 1985; University of Notre Dam Press, 1986)

Series 5 published as Nationalism, Colonialism and Literature, introduction by Seamus Deane (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989)


Seamus Heaney, Sweeney Astray (translation of Irish poem Buile Suibhne)


Terry Eagleton, Saint Oscar (script of play produced by Field Day)


Seamus Heaney, The Cure at Troy (signed limited edition of play)


Seamus Deane, General Editor, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, 3 vols. (Field Day, Derry, 1991; distributed in UK by Faber & Faber, London and in the USA and Canada by W W Norton, New York), Special Limited Edition, Field Day, 1993)


Máirín Ní Dhonnacadha and Theo Dorgan (eds) Revising the Rising (Field Day, Derry)


  • Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Volume IV, Eds. A Bourke, S Kilfeather, M Luddy, M MacCurtain, G Meaney, M Ní Dhonnacadha, M O'Dowd, C Wills (for publication 1996)
  • Poems by Irish Women 1715-1930, Ed. Medbh McGuckian and Ann Colman (November 1995)
  • Critical Conditions: Field Day Essays (in conjunction with Cork University Press and University of Notre Dame Press)
    1. Kevin Whelan, The Liberty Tree: Radicalism, Catholicism and the Construction of Irish Identity 1760-1830 (November 1995)

    2. Luke Gibbons, Transformations in Irish Culture (November 1995)

Field Day Theatre Company


  • Seamus Deane
  • David Hammond
  • Seamus Heaney
  • Tom Paulin
  • Stephen Rea


Colette Nelis
Administrative Assistant
Hilary Fletcher

Field Day Theatre Company, Foyle Arts Centre, Lawrence Hill, Derry BT48 7NJ, Northern Ireland. (01504) 360196

A limited company with charitable status.


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