The Brian Friel Papers

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]




Don't anticipate the ending Creative encounters with the Brian Friel Papers

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