The Brian Friel Papers

should grow in joyousness

This note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) dated 30 May 1989 contains a phrase that performance-maker Robbie Blake adapted for use as a direction for their piece ‘Running the Ending’. Here, Friel was alluding to a combination of the liberating qualities of dance and Fr. Jack’s paganism that allows the Mundy sisters to escape from the social, political, spiritual, and economic constraints that dominate their lives. Consequently, he felt that the play ‘should grow in joyousness’ rather than embracing a mood that anticipated the characters’ altogether gloomier ends.

From MS 37,104/1, National Library of Ireland; copyright Brian Friel Estate, reproduced by permission.


30 May

People suddenly find the opportunity and the means to escape from imperial colonialism (of religion, politics, domesticity, convention etc.)

So they play should grow in joyousness

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

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