Brian Friel’s dedication in his play Dancing at Lughnasa reads “In memory of those five brave Glenties women”. It is the same spirit of respect and admiration that the Glenties Drama Group approaches their coming production of Dancing at Lughnasa in Glenties Community Centre on March 2nd, 3rd, 4th at 8:30 nightly. It is a privilege to perform this play in the town where Brian Friel’s aunts lived and in whose home he spent many a childhood holiday.
We may all find life difficult now as the recession bites but what of life in Ireland of the 1930’s? Ireland in the early 20th century was a poor country. The levels of poverty in some rural areas were exceptional by Western standards.
In many homes there was no running water, no heat except the open range. No supplement of income from the State. Very few opportunities for women outside of their role as homemakers as they struggle daily to make ends meet.
But when we meet The Mundy Sisters on stage we find five strong women who may be poor in the economic sense but are rich in spirit, in love for family, for each other, who can lose themselves in song and dance, while as Kate puts it, they still believe in responsibilities and obligations and good order.
As forces outside the family appear to conspire against them we follow their struggle to maintain that order and as it crumbles around them and we empathise with their plight.
Snatches of music from the 30’s permeate the play as Marconi, the radio in the corner – weaves its magic spell on these kind, sensible women and transforms them in to shrieking strangers. Fr Jack their brother has returned from Africa and has brought unease to the household with his tales of life there and his new strange beliefs.
The story is narrated by Michael, the “out of wedlock” son of the youngest sister Chris, as he reflects on those harvest days in August 1936 when his father, Gerry Evans, visits the household on random occasions causing further upset.
So please join us in Glenties on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th as we honour those five brave Glenties women.
To enquire about tickets e mail firstname.lastname@example.org