Dancing At Lughnasa

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In Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) by Brian Friel (b.1929), the author presents a memory play with themes of memory and migration, together with language and performance. The 'drama explores complex issues in the lives of invented characters' (Lojek, 2006 in Gupta, 2012, p. 250). Characters that stress memory over history together with stage directions, the drama demonstrate a variety of events in an individual and communal position. Moreover, the recollections of events foregrounds the theme of memory. The Mundy's family express their past with a social-historical background, depicting wishes and relationship made of events or persons from their past. However to consider the realistic features in tension with the role of memory, the audience must…show more content…
Friel employs many dramatic devices 'to give theatrical shape to the theme of memory: the tableaux technique start and finish the play' (Pacheco, 2012, p. 263). To explain, the stage directions position the characters 'motionless in formal tableau' set in specific places (Friel, 1990, p. 1). Such technique freezes the characters motions in the play highlighting the concept of memory and capturing the sense of an earlier period. Subsequently, the characters movements begins once Michael's speech finishes and the lighting effect changes. As a result, the dialogue and movements starts with a light effect emulating 'a warm summer afternoon' (p.2), representing the moment and their errands. Further, while Michael narrates his precious memories, imaginary young Michael flies a kite, the remain characters stand in specific places to interact with the imaginary…show more content…
53). Agnes not knowing where the speech comes from, finds Gerry on the top of a sycamore tree 'fixing the aerial' (p.54) and acting silly with 'Weeeeeee' (p.53) behaviour. Agnes dialogue mentioned to Gerry that the 'tree is not safe' and he was 'going to fall'. Consequently, stage directions indicate that Agnes should 'cover her eyes in terror' (p.53), because the branch where Gerry stand started to 'sway'. However, the previous instructions places him visible to Agnes and invisible to the audience. Then, the silly actions, the sycamore tree and the effect of sway from the tree branch, all those realistic features are missing from the stage. Therefore, although the memory clearly stands, performance certainly poses tension, the actions, and most of the interactions and dialogue seems displaced without physical

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