Dancing at Lughnasa, Paperback
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


It is 1936 and harvest time in County Donegal. In a house just outside the village of Ballybeg live the five Mundy sisters, barely making ends meet, their ages ranging from twenty-six up to forty.

The two male members of the household are brother Jack, a missionary priest, repatriated from Africa by his superiors after 25 years, and the seven-year-old child of the youngest sister.

In depicting two days in the life of this menage, Brian Friel evokes not simply the interior landscape of a group of human beings trapped in their domestic situation, but the wider landscape, interior and exterior, Christian and pagan, of which they are a part.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780571144792



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Dancing at Lughnasa is one of my favorite pieces of dramatic text from one of my favortie authors. It is the story of the Mundy sisters, who live in County Donegal in the mid-1930s. It is told through the recollections of Michael, the illegitimate child of the youngest sister. These women work hard to survive but are trapped by every aspect of life - finances, social status, sexism, natural ability, duty, the past, and even religion.Friel's writing is beautiful and rich, and the characters are tragically lovely. In such a short time, Friel succeeds in taking the reader from pure joy and relief to heartbreaking sadness. This is a work you'll remember.

Review by

Just a captivating, engrossing and wondrous piece of drama. Brian Friel is a master craftsman and Dancing at Lughnasa is an irresistable delight. It is the moving story of five sisters, living in rural Ireland during the 1930's bringing up the illegitimate son of Chris, one of the five. They live in poverty and the character of each sister and their brother Jack, who has returned damaged from Christian work in Uganda are exquisitely developed. The story is told by the now grown son reflecting on his early childhood. If this play is being staged anywhere near you - do not miss it.

Also by Brian Friel   |  View all