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An Grianán Theatre

The Enemy Within


Brian Friel’s The Enemy Within is Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, the new Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, and is performed by a stellar cast, with Sean McGinley in the lead role of Columba/ Colmcille. It is produced by An Grianán Theatre in Donegal, where Colmcille was born, and Brian Friel lived. The show recording is by Areaman, who have recently recorded a number of shows for the Abbey Theatre.

The play examines a period in the life of Colmcille as a mature man, having worked in his ministry for many years and settled in his monastery in Iona yet still subject to the demands of his turbulent family clan in Donegal.

It is the main signature event in the Colmcille 1500 commemorative celebrations.

“I think this is a beautiful play and as a Donegal woman, I am thrilled at the prospect of getting to direct my first Brian Friel play at home, in Donegal. It feels very special and important both personally and thematically. The themes of exile are all too familiar, just now, and the notion of battling conflicting thoughts, impulses or loyalties is a large part of the human condition, and particularly in Ireland. This forced time of reflection through Covid has had an impact on all of us and this opportunity for an exploration of that part of the human psyche feels timely and valuable right now. Plus of course we get to do this production as part of a Country wide celebration of St. Columba and 1500 years since his birth. A singular figure who has the kind of passion, drive and commitment we see today in the tenacity of our artists and sports heroes." - Caitríona McLaughlin Director of Enemy Within