If you are studying Translations, and its tragi-comic exploration of love, language and simple lives being shaken by the arrival of outsiders, this later play by Friel, also set in Ballybeg but some hundred years later, is likely to appeal to you too.
Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) shares many elements with Translations (1980). Both dramatise disappointed hopes and dreams of departure and explore language, but Lughnasa does so in perhaps subtler and more complex ways. Its setting is not the schoolroom, but the family home. And it is in its evocation of domesticity and family relationships that Lughnasa elicits the most powerful emotions and aligns with Alcott's Little Women. Lughnasa is set in a female world where the personal relationships are warm and cooperative. The five adult Mundy sisters share a rural home with Michael, the illegitimate child of the youngest sister, Christina, and while family alliances, resentments and a pecking order are all palpable, the overriding quality depicted through the relationships is love.
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