Malvern Theatre Players
(Resident Company of the Coach House Theatre)
DANCING AT LUGHNASA
By Brian Friel
Dancing at Lughnasa, set in the summer of 1936 Ireland was hailed by Time magazine as “the most elegant and rueful memory play since The Glass Menagerie”. The story of five sisters, living a fragile life in rural Ireland, is told through flashbacks of one of the sisters’ illegitimate son, Michael. Though the sisters’ tragic fates are revealed through Michael’s memories of that summer when he was only seven, the play is lightened by their mutual love and support, shared humour and moments of wild abandon when their erratically functioning radio fills the house with a cocktail of 1930s song and dance together with Irish traditional music. This almost carefree, yet precarious, world is disturbed with the homecoming of their long-lost brother Jack, who has “gone native” after years of missionary work in Uganda. To add to the turmoil, Gerry, Michael’s adventurer father pays one of his infrequent visits and the impact of Lughnasa, the Pagan Harvest Festival, looms large on the horizon.
Dancing at Lughnasa is a play about love and loss and family set against a background of strict Catholicism and Paganism.
Dancing at Lughnasa – Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Play