Translations at National Theatre - Olivier tickets
Translations at National Theatre - Olivier tickets

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About the show

What happens when a land is robbed of its language?

Irish playwright Brian Friel’s 1980 post-colonial play Translations runs at the National’s Olivier Theatre, featuring a stellar cast including Colin Morgan and Ciaran Hinds. A play about a divided nation and a country’s experience of losing its identity, this thrilling production runs for a strictly limited season.

Translations takes place in the fictional village of Baile Beag, where life is quiet and content. But when two English cartographers and a mysterious Irish translator arrive to translate Irish place names into English, daily life is disrupted. As the mapmakers get to know the villagers, professional distance deteriorates and lives are irrevocably changed.

Colin Morgan, who is best-known for playing the title role in the BBC’s Merlin, stars as Owen. Morgan initially made a name for himself in the Young Vic’s production of Vernon God Little, and has since built up credits at the Old Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End.

Further casting includes Olivier Award-nominated Ciarán Hinds, who most recently starred in Girl From the North Country at the Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre. Further casting includes Dermot Crowley, Aoife Duffin, Adetomiwa Edun, Michelle Fox, Laurence Kinlan, Seamus O’Hara, Judith Roddy and Rufus Wright.

Ian Rickson, former Artistic Director of the Royal Court, directs, with previous credits including The Birthday Party, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Jerusalem, The Weir and Mojo. The production features design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Neil Austin, sound design by Ian Dickinson and original music by Stephen Warbeck.

With themes of a nation torn apart and an oppressor in control of the country, Translations resonates with today’s Britain to a shocking extent. The production plays at the National Theatre’s Olivier, with performances from 22 May to 7 July 2018, with a press night on 30 May 2018.

Recommended for

This modern classic from British and Irish theatre is not to be missed by those with interest in politics, culture clash and post-colonialism. A moving, personal drama that effectively frames the tension between Ireland and Britain, this production should not be missed by theatregoers.

Age Recommendations: Not suitable for children

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including an interval)
Opened: 22 May 2018
Press night: 30 May 2018
Booking from: 22 May 2018
Booking until: 07 Jul 2018

Location and map

National Theatre - Olivier
National Theatre, Upper Ground
London, SE1 9PX

29 Reviews Add review

doonakebab 5'10", 189 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Intense historic piece by Brian Friel - hard to follow sometimes but a great cast and strong performances.

mssmittenkitten 5'10, 92 reviews, 6 helpful votes

bowerhe 5'6, 44 reviews, 1 helpful vote

matryoshka 175, 7 reviews, 0 helpful votes

LondonLass 5"1, 248 reviews, 14 helpful votes

JenK 5'10, 71 reviews, 1 helpful vote

This show started off very well. Set in 19th century rural Ireland, it tells the story of a man who returns to his home in Donegal... More

joc78 5"4, 435 reviews, 7 helpful votes

The show was good & interesting. The acting was very very good - especially Colin Morgan. However, it got quite vague & confusing towards... More

jessamybennett 5'4", 68 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Wasn't sure about this one. There are some really great scenes that are cleverly written then some are very long and boring. It ends... More

rochellebalboa 5"9, 130 reviews, 25 helpful votes