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.
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
Running the ending
This is a film, directed by Robbie Blake, about exhaustion, self-expression and joyousness. Blake’s score uses a graphic notation to represent three states: run, reset/shake-out, dance.
Robbie Blake's blue notebook, 1
In this page from Robbie Blake’s project notebooks, Robbie adapts a phrase from Friel’s archives, ‘So the play should grow in joyousness’.
Portrait: Michelle O'Rourke
Michelle O’Rourke is a singer based in Dublin, Ireland.
Filming 'Running the Ending', 18 April 2021
These photographs were taken by Jessie Keenan during and between filming sessions for Robbie Blake’s short film ‘Running the ending’ at the Museum of Literature Ireland on 18 April 2021.