Lovers, Winners and Losers by Brian Friel

Table of Contents

Important background 3

Brian Friel 3

Plot overview 4

Outline 4

Summary with Analysis 4

Winners 4

Losers 5

Important facts 8

Character list 9

Winners 9

Losers 9

Character descriptions 9

Themes 12

Important background

Brian Friel

Brian Patrick Friel (9 January 1929–2 October 2015) was an Irish dramatist, short story writer and founder of the Field Day Theatre Company. He was considered one of the greatest living English-language dramatists, and referred to as an ‘Irish Chekhov’, and ‘the universally accented voice of Ireland’. His plays have been compared favourably to those of contemporaries such as Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams.

Recognised for early works such as Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Faith Healer, Friel had 24 plays published in a more than half-century-spanning career that culminated in his election to the position of Saoi of Aosdána. His plays were commonly featured on Broadway throughout this time.

In 1980, Friel co-founded Field Day Theatre Company and his play Translations was the company's first production. With Field Day, Friel collaborated with Seamus Heaney, the 1995 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Heaney and Friel first became friends after Friel sent the young poet a letter following the publication of Death of a Naturalist.

Friel was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters. He was appointed to Seanad Éireann in 1987 and served until 1989. In later years, Dancing at Lughnasa reinvigorated Friel's career, bringing him Tony Awards (including Best Play), the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. It was also adapted into a film, starring Meryl Streep, directed by Pat O'Connor, script by Frank McGuinness.

Lovers, remarkably, is one of Friel’s less regarded plays.

Plot overview


Lovers consists of two parts: Winners and Losers. In Winners, two commentat...

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