Dylan Stewart recently wrote a practice piece based on his experience of acting in our November production of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa, in which he played the part of Father Jack Mundy, the eccentric relative recently returned from Uganda to Ballybeg in Co Donegal in 1936. Our reviewer at the time was Katie Murphy.
Dylan writes : I yearned and longed for that moment when I walked out onto the stage; bare but for my character, stripped and vulnerable in front of a huge room occupied with blank, anticipating faces; waiting for me to entertain them, to guide them through the play, to prove my worth. That strange euphoria of being so exposed.
As these feelings swelled up and fluttered inside me, beneath my costume, I tried to get into character. I was Father Jack; the estranged, older brother to a family of five young Donegal women in Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. Returning home sick with malaria from my post as a priest living among a colony of pagan leapers, I was alien to my former life in Donegal. I was groggy with illness; the malaria along with the extended period of time which I had spent away from Ireland had left my memory of both faces and the English language a little sub-standard. I was a slightly complex character, to say the least.
Click here for the full essay.