Dancing+at+Lughnasa+-+Script

Gerry i think theyre just wonderful look jack for the

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GERRY : I think they're just wonderful. Look, Jack. (For the first time toe all see the images. On each kite is painted a crude, cruel, grinning face, primitively drawn, garishly painted.) I'll tell you something: this boy isn't going to end up selling gramophones. CHRIS : Michael! He always vanishes when there's work to be done. MAGGIE : I've a riddle for you. Why is a gramophone like a parrot? KATE : Maggie! MAGGIE : Because it... because it always... because a parrot ... God, I've forgotten! ( MAGGIE moves into the kitchen. MICHAEL enters. The characters are now in positions similar to their positions at the beginning of the play - with some changes: AGNES and GERRY are on the garden seat. JACK stands stiffly to attention at Agnes's elbow. One kite, facing boldly out front, stands between GERRY and AGNES ; the other between AGNES and JACK . ROSE is upstage left. MAGGIE is at the kitchen window. KATE is downstage right. CHRIS is at the front door. During MICHAEL 's speech KATE cries quietly. As MICHAEL begins to speak the stage is lit in a very soft, golden light so that the tableau we see is almost, but not quite, in a haze.) MICHAEL : As I said, Father Jack was dead within twelve months. And with him and Agnes and Rose all gone, the heart seemed to go out of the house. Maggie took on the tasks Rose and Agnes had done and pretended to believe that nothing had changed. My mother spent the rest of her life in the knitting factory - and hated every day of it. And after a few years doing nothing Kate got
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the job of tutoring the young family of Austin Morgan of the Arcade. But much of the spirit and fun had gone out of their lives; and when my time came to go away, in the selfish way of young men I was happy to escape. (Now fade in very softly, just audible, the music - 'It is Time to Say Goodnight" (not from the radio speaker). And as MICHAEL continues everybody sways very slightly from side to side-even the grinning kites. The movement is so minimal that we cannot be quite certain if it is happening or if we imagine it.) And so, when I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936, different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. But there is one memory of that Lughnasa time that visits me most often; and what fascinates me about that memory is that it owes nothing to fact. In that memory atmosphere is more real than incident and everything is simultaneously actual and illusory. In that memory, too, the air is nostalgic with the music of the thirties. It drifts in from somewhere far away - a mirage of sound - a dream music that is both heard and imagined; that seems to be both itself and its own echo; a sound so alluring and so mesmeric that the afternoon is bewitched, maybe haunted, by it. And what is so strange about that memory is that everybody seems to be floating on those sweet sounds, moving rhythmically, languorously, in complete isolation; responding more to the mood of the music than to its beat. When I remember it, I think of it as dancing. Dancing with eyes half closed because to open them would break the spell. Dancing as if language had
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  • Fall '11
  • Kerins
  • Ode, 2007 singles, 2005 singles, 2008 singles, 2004 singles, UK Singles Chart number-one singles, KATE MAGGIE ROSE

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