PlayName: Dancing at Lughnasa
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Copyrighted
Michael opens the play with this monologue. He reminisces about the summer of 1936 when he was seven and living with his mother and aunts in Ballybeg, Ireland. He talks about events that changed his family forever such as the wireless radio they bought, Uncle Jack coming home from Africa, and a visit from Michael's father.
Age Range: 30s - Early, 30s - Late, 40s - Early, 40s - Late, 50s, 60s
AuthorName: Brian Friel
Eras: CONTEMPORARY, 1951-2000
This monologue takes place in Act I. Michael reminisces about seeing a picture of his Uncle Jack and how magnificent he thought he looked. Michael conveys that he was surprised once he met his Uncle Jack because he wasn't anything like he had been in that picture. He talk of how Uncle Jack's glowing reputation was cherished by his aunts, especially when his mother gave birth to him out of wedlock.
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This monologue takes place at the very end of Act I. Michael talks about how, in the summer of 1936, his family of aunts was about to break up. He also speaks of how his father came back to see his mother. Michael says that although his parents never formally married, they did dance beautifully as their own ritual.
At the very end of the play, Michael reminisces about the atmosphere and mood of his memories from childhood. He describes the dancing as a spiritual experience in which words no longer become necessary.
In this monologue, Michael describes what became of his family. He tells the audience that after running away, Rose and Agnes fell into hard times, became homeless and eventually died within two days of each other. Uncle Jack recovered from the malaria, though he never said Mass again and never regained the respect of the community. He died of a heart attack within a year of his returning home. Michael's father continued to visit Michael's mother and him on occasion. One day, Michael received a letter from someone claiming to be his half-brother telling him that his father had died with his wife and three other children by his side. Michael never told his mother of his father's other family.