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About the show

Brian Friel’s Olivier Award-winning play is an astonishing evocation of a family’s world on the brink of change.

It's harvest time in County Donegal, Ireland, 1936.

Outside the village of Ballybeg, the five Mundy sisters battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their brother, ‘Uncle’ Jack.

During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide. The sisters fight each other, love each other, dance, yearn and survive.

Sep 27 - Oct 5

  • Woodman's Hill Performing Arts Centre
    1 Fussell Street, Ballarat East

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwright: Brian Friel

  • Director: Mary-Rose McLaren

  • Running Time: TBA

  • 2024 VDL Award Entry


  • Ballarat Irish Association

  • Supported by grant funding from City of Ballarat

About the Director

Mary-Rose McLaren

Dr Mary-Rose McLaren is an associate professor in Education with the College of Arts & Education, Victoria University. Mary-Rose has been involved in many productions in Ballarat. Her favourite memories with Ballarat National Theatre include:

  • writing and directing “One Boys War” which was performed to sell-out crowds in 2013, which was about her Grandfather.
  • Co-writing and directing Honourable Mentions with Peter Nethercote. Honourable Mentions was a special tribute to the Royal South Street Society's 125 year history (2016)
  • Directing Daisy Pulls It Off and A Christmas Carol
  • Acting in Little Women and The Best Man (2016), Much Ado About Shakespeare and Falling From Grace (2017), and getting to be Mark Antony in Act Like a Girl.


Auditions will be in June

Performance Venue

Woodman's Hill Perfomring Arts Centre

1 Fussell Street, Ballarat East

Parking is available in the small car park in from of the performance venue and on Fussell Street.

This venue has disabled parking access in the carpark which can be entered from Fussell Street. Wheelchair and ramp access to the venue and a disabled toilet are also available.


Brian Friel (1929 - 2015)

Brian Friel wrote thirty plays across six decades and is widely regarded as one of Ireland's greatest dramatists. He was a member of Aosdána, the society of Irish artists, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Irish Academy of Letters, and the Royal Society of Literature where he was made a Companion of Literature. He was awarded the Ulysses Medal by University College, Dublin. Plays include Hedda Gabler (after Ibsen), The Home Place, Performances, Three Plays After (Afterplay, The Bear, The Yalta Game), Uncle Vanya (after Chekhov), Give Me Your Answer Do!, Molly Sweeney (Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play), Wonderful Tennessee, A Month in the Country (after Turgenev), The London Vertigo (after Charles Macklin), Dancing at Lughnasa (Winner of 3 Tony Awards including Best Play, New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Olivier Award for Best Play), Making History, The Communication Cord, American Welcome, Three Sisters (afterChekhov), Translations, Aristocrats (Winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play), Faith Healer, Fathers and Sons, Living Quarters, Volunteers, The Freedom of the City, The Gentle Island, The Mundy Scheme, Crystal and Fox, Lovers: Winners and Losers, The Loves of Cass Maguire, and Philadelphia Here I Come!