Dancing at Lughnasa

After some interesting innovations in regard to staging format (and even venue!) for our last two productions, we return to a more conventional form to present our next play.  It’s Dancing at Lughnasa by the eminent Irish playwright Brian Friel.  (That’s pronounced ‘loo  nar  sar’).  A very talented cast has been assembled for this touching play set in County Donegal in the 1930s, including two newcomers.  The play will be performed across two weekends in June.

It is a memory play told from the point of view of the adult Michael Evans, the narrator, set in County Donegal in Ulster in the north of Ireland in August 1936

The five Mundy sisters all unmarried, live in a cottage outside of Ballybeg. The oldest, Kate, is a school teacher, the only one with a well-paid job. Agnes and Rose knit gloves to be sold in town, thereby earning a little extra money for the household. They also help Maggie to keep house. Maggie and Christina (Michael’s mother) have no income at all. Michael is seven years old and plays in and around the cottage.

Recently returned home after 25 years is their brother Jack, a priest who has lived as a missionary in a leper colony in a remote village in Uganda. It becomes clear that he has “gone native” and abandoned much of his Catholicism during his time there.

Gerry, Michael’s father, is a charming yet unreliable man, a traveling salesman who sells gramophones He visits rarely and always unannounced. A radio nicknamed Marconi, which works only intermittently, brings 1930’s dance and traditional Irish folk music into the home at rather random moments and then, equally randomly, ceases to play. This leads the women into sudden outbursts of wild dancing.

There is a sense that the close home life the women/girls have known since childhood is about to be torn apart. The narrator, the adult Michael, tells us this is indeed what happens.

Performance Dates are; Friday 16th JUNE Saturday 17th  and Sunday 18th June and the following weekend on Friday 23rd June; Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June Friday 23rd June Saturday 23rd Sunday 25th June.  Tickets at www.malenyplayers.org.au  www.trybooking or limited cash sales at Maleny Art Direct

Traditional Irish Stew and a Guinness will be available to purchase from 6.00pm on Friday 16th June and Friday 23rd June prior to the show commencing at 7.00pm.

For further information please contact Andrew Wallace on 0467 038 755 or email on wallacea@westnet.com.au