Let it drift as it wishes.
In this note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), we can see Friel reminding himself of the need to allow the play to develop freely without becoming bogged down with preconceived ideas of form.
From MS 37,104/1, National Library of Ireland; copyright Brian Friel Estate, reproduced by permission.
26 May ’89. A
Not ONE narrator, God-like over everybody. But EACH person telling her story – ? Or a combination of a Senior Narrator (first person) and Several Juniors.
[This has all become very formal and inhibiting. Allow the play to breathe. Let it drift as it wishes.
A line on a page isn’t a solemn commitment.]
The Narrator figure now seems to be the illegitimate (has that word any currency now?) child of Gerry + Christina. He lives with his mother + his aunts in this all-female house. Gerry breezes in – dances in – every so often; with a bit of money; to hug the child; to dance with Christina – and Kate (who hates him) and Rose + Aggie + Maggie; to go off to fix more radios; to pursue his other unspoken jobs.
[Might we hear his death on the radio. Shot while trying to attack a police station.
And then, does he come dancing on in an immaculate white suit?
No; we would hear of his death after the Fr. Jack – Rose – Gerry dance.
Prefer his submission to marriage – dancing days are over]
Mixed interview, extract 4
Zosia Kuczyńska, Jessie Keenan, and Robbie Blake talk about the impact of the pandemic on the project.
This is an extract from a conversation in a WhatsApp group in which Jessie Keenan, Robbie Blake, and Zosia Kuczyńska communicated sporadically about the project.
At least it is a starting point.
In this note, dated 19 May 1989, Friel was struggling to choose a time period for Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). In the end, he decided to go with his intuition, reasoning that all starting points are ‘arbitrary’ before they become ‘an essence’.
Robbie Blake's blue notebook, 8
In this page from Robbie Blake’s project notebooks, Robbie sets out the aims and methodology of a week of workshops and rehearsals at Dance House in August 2020. They also make a note to ask Zosia Kuczyńska to record some monologues from Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) as a tool for generating material.