Dancing at Lughnasa

Slovak National Theatre – Drama, Bratislava, 1994
Author: Brian Friel
Directed by Peter Mikulík

about production

With the exception of the play Čestné občianstvo (Honorary Citizenship, which was presented at the beginning of the 1980's by the Studio Nová Scéna in Bratislava, the Slovak audience did not have up until now the opportunity to learn about another member of fascinating plethora of Irish playwrights. The play Dancing At Lughnasa is presented by a premier Slovak Drama Theatre company under the title Tance na sklonku leta in the period, when this play is the most often performed contemporary play, even in the world context. Many awards, e. g the 1991 Lawrence Olivier Award, certainly have helped to establish its reputation. lt is without a doubt, that the reason, why many drama theatres include this play in their repertoire, is also a very simple fact that it offers great opportunities for the dames of the thespian art. The production team of the Drama Theatre of the Slovak National Theatre was, howeve1 convinced from the very beginning, that this play is a “comedy” more or less in the same spirit as Chekhov used to describe his plays and has much more profound qualities. Leitmotif style bridging of pagan rites Lughnasa, ritual kitchen dance of the unwed sisters (in which we observe the dreams of jovial, but unfulfilled womanhood) and natural world of an African tribe, speaks of something substantial about basic contradictions between various civilizations, cultures, religions and last but not least about the secrets of psychological make up of human beings. Beings, who regardless of the place and time, in which their private history takes place, once with humility, another time with remarkable energy, bear their crosses. Destiny in this, not ancient sense of the word, is actually ordinary (?), daily ordeal, the merry­ go-round of housework, struggle for private survival. And still, it is interwoven with work, ordinary conflicts, and tensions with vital force, kindling passion and above all with intimate emotional linking of “adult girls” and their male friends. Irish countryside in the late 1930s', seemingly banal female history, nostalgia mood of memories, exhilaration with radio and dance which is deliberately only an expression and culmination of suggested and pronounced movements in the vast countryside of the souls of our heroines...

This whole poetic background is assisting to create an atmosphere and flavour of the world with its temperament, humour, the need for human warmth and also with social experience of the fellow man close to us.

Darina Porubjaková


translation: Braňo Hochel
script editing: Darina Porubjaková
directed by Peter Mikulík
set design: Ján Zavarský
costumes: Milan Čorba
music: Svetozár Stračina, Miroslav Nemec
choreography: Ján Durovčík
assistant choreographer: Miloš Galko
assistant director: Juraj Sarvaš
cast: Dušan Jamrich, Emília Vášáryová, Kamila Magálová, Anna Javorková, Zuzana Kocúriková, Diana Mórová, Vanda Tureková, Marián Geišberg, Ladislav Chudík