Irish backdrop

London’s The National Theatre is to stage a timely revival of Ian Rickson’s production of Brian Friel’s modern classic, Translations. Taking its cue from the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland, Friel’s 1980 play, set in a village in 19th century Donegal, Ireland, is a potent account of nationhood, identity, language and change. Prodigal son, Owen, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin with two British army officers in tow – whose task is to create a map of the area, replacing the Gaelic names with English names – an administrative act that could have radical consequences and unspools tensions in the quiet community.

Dermot Crowley, Ciarán Hinds, Seamus O’Hara, Judith Roddy, and Rufus Wright return to reprise their roles, with Jack Bardoe, Liádan Dunlea, Fra Fee, Amy Molloy and Julian Moore-Cook joining the cast. Previews begin on 15 October with the show running until 18 December.