Manchán Magan

Focal Point/ Bás Tongue

FOCAL POINT (aka Bás Tongue) is a binlingual play written by Manchán Magan for the Dublin Fringe Festival 2011 with a commission from the Project Art Center. It was directed by Willie White as Bás Tongue, and  then by Mikel Murfi as Focal Point in 2013.

The play is a powerful exploration of a language that might be dying and a battle of wills between a girl who has rediscovered her love of Irish and a cynical scholar’s son who hates his father’s pointless life (collecting vanishing words like endangered butterflies!). While giving a lecture in a language that he love-hates, to an audience that barely understands, he meets this vibrant young cailín. A fluid melding of Irish, English and surtitles ensues - with tongue tying, grammar wrestling and dictionary massacres. It’s a celebration of language as weapon, chicaning into some farcical linguistics and a revelatory revival meeting for forgotten words.

Willle White directed the 2011 production, titled Bás Tongue, featuring Roxanna Nic Liam and Manchán Magan.Team Theatre produced a rewritten version of the play in 2013, with a week's run in the Project Art Centre, followed by  3 weeks national tour of schools. It featured actors Jody O'Neill and Dónall Ó Héalaí.