Dancing+at+Lughnasa+-+Script

Maggie stands motionless staring out of the window

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( MAGGIE stands motionless, staring out of the window, seeing nothing. The others drift back to their tasks: ROSE and AGNES knit; KATE puts the groceries away; CHRIS connects the battery. Pause.) KATE : Is it working now, Christina?
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CHRIS : What's that? KATE : Marconi. CHRIS : Marconi? Yes, yes... should be... (She switches the set on and returns to her ironing. The music,at first scarcely audible, is Irish dance music - 'The Mason's Apron', played by a celtic band. Very fast; very heavy beat; a raucous sound. At first we are aware of the beat only. Then, as the volume increases slowly, we hear the melody. For about ten seconds-until the sound has established itself-the women continue with their tasks. Then MAGGIE turns round. Her head is cocked to the beat, to the music. She is breathing deeply, rapidly. Now her features become animated by a look of defiance, of aggression; a crude mask of happiness. For a few seconds she stands still, listening, absorbing the rhythm, surveying her sisters with her defiant grimace. Now she spreads her fingers (which are covered with flour), pushes her hair back from her face, pulls her hands down her cheeks and patterns her face with an instant mask. At the same time the opens her mouth and emits a wild, raucous 'Yaaaah !'- and immediately begins to dance, arms, legs, hair, long bootlaces flying. And as she dances she lilts- sings-shouts and calls, ' Come on and join me! Come on! Come on !' For about ten seconds she dances alone - a white-faced, frantic dervish. Her sisters watch her. Then ROSE 'S face lights up. Suddenly she flings away her knitting, leaps to her feet, shouts, grabs MAGGIE 'S hand. They dance and sing-shout together; Rose's Wellingtons pounding out their own erratic rhythm. Now after another five seconds AGNES looks around, leaps up, joins MAGGIE and ROSE . Of all the sisters she moves most gracefully, most sensuously. Then after the same interval CHRIS , who has been folding Jack's surplice, tosses it quickfy over her head and joins in the dance. The moment she tosses the vestment over her head KATE cries out in remonstration, 'Oh, Christina - !' But her protest is drowned. AGNES and ROSE , CHRIS and MAGGIE , are now all doing a dance that is almost recognizable. They meet - they retreat. They form a circle and wheel round and round. But the movements seem caricatured; and the sound is too loud; and the beat is too fast; and the almost recognizable dance is made grotesque because -for example- instead of holding hands, they have their arms tightly
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around one another's neck, one another's waist. Finally KATE , who has been watching the scene with unease, with alarm, suddenly leaps to her feet, flings her head back, and emits a loud 'Yaaaah !' KATE dances alone, totally concentrated, totally private; a movement that is simultaneously controlled and frantic; a weave of complex steps that takes her quickly round the kitchen, past her sisters, out to the garden, round the summer seat, back to the kitchen; a pattern of action that is out of character and at the same time ominous of some deep and true emotion. Throughout the dance ROSE , AGNES , MAGGIE
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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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