Dancing+at+Lughnasa+-+Script

2 dancing at lugknasa was first performed at the

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Dancing at Lugknasa was first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on 24 April 1990. The cast was as follows: KATE Frances Tomelty MAGGIE Anita Reeves ROSE Brid Ni Neachtain AGNES Brid Brennan CHRIS Catherine Byrne MICHAEL Gerard McSorley GERRY Paul Herzberg JACK Barry McGovern Director Patrick Mason Designer Joe Vanek Lighting Designer Trevor Dawson This production transferred to the National Theatre in October 1990, with the following changes of cast: KATE Rosaleen Linehan GERRY Stephen Dillane JACK Alec McCowen 3
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ACT 1 When the play opens MICHAEL is standing downstage left in a pool of light. The rest of the stage is in darkness. Immediately MICHAEL begins speaking, slowly bring up the lights on the rest of the stage. Around the stage and at a distance from MICHAEL the other characters stand motionless informal tableau. MAGGIE is at the kitchen window (right). CHRIS is at the front door. KATE at extreme eight. ROSE and GERRY sit on the garden seat. JACK stands ROSE . AGUES is upstage left. They hold these positions while MICHAEL talks to the audience. MICHAEL : When I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936 different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. We got our first wireless set that summer - well, a sort of a set; and it obsessed us. And because it arrived as August was about to begin, my Aunt Maggie - she was the joker of the family - she suggested we give it a name. She wanted to call it Lugh after the old Celtic God of the Harvest. Because in the old days August the First was La Lughnasa, the feast day of the pagan god, Lugh; and the days and weeks of harvesting that followed were called the Festival of Lughnasa. But Aunt Kate - she was a national schoolteacher and a very proper woman - she said it would be sinful to christen an inanimate object with any kind of name, not to talk of a pagan god. So we just called it Marconi because that was the name emblazoned on the set. And about three weeks before we got that wireless, my mother's brother, my Uncle Jack, came home from Africa for the first time ever. For twenty-five years he had worked in a leper colony there, in a remote village called Ryanga in Uganda. The only time he ever left that village was for about six months during World War One when he was chaplain to the British army in East Africa. Then back to that grim 4
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hospice where he worked without a break for a further eighteen years. And now in his early fifties and in bad health he had come home to Ballybeg - as it turned out - to die. And when I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936, these two memories - of our first wireless and of Father Jack's return - are always linked. So that when I recall my first shock at Jack's appearance, shrunken and jaundiced with malaria, at the same time I remember my first delight, indeed my awe, at the sheer magic of that radio. And when I remember the kitchen throbbing with the beat of Irish dance musk beamed to us all the way from Dublin, and my mother and her sisters suddenly catching hands and dancing a spontaneous step-dance and laughing - screaming! - like
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  • Fall '11
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  • Ode, 2007 singles, 2005 singles, 2008 singles, 2004 singles, UK Singles Chart number-one singles, KATE MAGGIE ROSE

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