Performing resistance : Brian Friel’s adaptation of Brian Moore’s The lonely passion of Judith Hearne
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This paper tracks Irish playwright Brian Friel’s unpublished film adaptation of Brian Moore’s novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, examining the historical context and content of both works. In his screenplay, Friel recasts Moore’s heroine as performing a series of resistant gestures towards the social, economic, and religious institutions of Belfast in the 1950’s—institutions by which Moore’s protagonist is depicted as thoroughly trapped. I argue that the political violence of the 1970’s inflects Friel’s adaptation, causing him to shift his focus to the economic conditions of working class Catholics in the years preceding the Troubles, and to the possibilities of non-violent, resistant performances in both protesting injustice and articulating marginalized identities.