The film adaptation of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa, starring Meryl Streep, opened exclusively in New York and Los Angeles Nov. 13 and is now followed by a Dec. 25 wide release by Sony Pictures Classics. Streep plays Kate, the oldest daughter in the Mundy family. Other cast members include Michael Gambon, Catherine McCormack, Kathy Burke, Sophie Thompson, Brid Brennan (of the Broadway company), and Darrell Johnston. Playwright Frank McGuinness (Someone Who'll Watch Over Me) wrote the screenplay adaptation, and Pat O'Connor helmed the picture.
Lughnasa tells of five impoverished, unmarried sisters living in 1930's Ballybeg, Ireland. Their one ray of hope shines through a radio which awakens a deep yearning for the pleasures in life they may never know. Michael, the illegitimate son of one sister, tells their story in flashback.
Lughnasa won the 1992 Best Play Tony Award, as well as the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards in the United Kingdom. It originated at the Abbey Theatre of Dublin. Other plays by Friel include Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, Wonderful Tennessee and Molly Sweeney.