The London Vertigo is Brian Friel’s adaptation of a play by Charles Macklin (1690?-1797), the Donegal-born author whose plays Love à la Mode and The Man of the World enjoyed abundant success in London and Dublin.
In his introduction Brian Friel considers ‘a geography of humour’ and the play, a satirical, amusing look at Irish Anglophiles, suggests the delusion of the characters’ self-metamorphosis and echoes some of Friel’s own abiding interests.
The London Vertigo tells the story of Mrs O’Dogherty/Diggerty who is forced to reform her behaviour by dropping her newly acquired Anglophile habits and language use to transform into ‘The Irish Fine Lady’. Her concomitant giving up of colonial mimicry and changing back to ‘decent Dublin domesticity’ unwittingly rewrites the original author’s own biography as comedy and farce and represents an act of warmhearted companionship between neighbouring playwrights.
‘Brian Friel has pruned Macklin’s original script with the vision and precision which are his trademarks . . .’
— Sunday Independent