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“Nocturne”

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Gallagher, Miriam (Irish playwright, novelist, screenwriter, 1940-____), “Nocturne,” a 45-minute bare-stage impressionistic theatrical musical interlude in English; also, translated into Russian by Sonya Polyaninkina, set in a salon, Russia, evening, 1987,

1m1f (+ pianist)

; • © 1987 by Miriam Gallagher; • in Miriam Gallagher's Fancy Footwork: Selected Plays by Miriam Gallagher (Society of Irish Playwrights [formerly The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters' Guild], 1991, 1997), ISBN 0953820009, 13 plays including 5 with small cast, like 'Dreamkeeper' and The Sealwoman and the Fisher,'distributed through Internet Theatre Bookshop; • script/rights available from Miriam Gallagher, 53 Upper Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland, e-mail mirager@indigo.ie, telephone (home/work/fax) Dublin (01-4976880; or available from Internet Theatre Bookshop, http://www.stageplays.com. • Cited by Miriam Gallagher via ftp December 16, 2003; Gallagher says,

§ Dramatis Personae Robert Field/Clementi (m), middle aged, father of the composer John Field, violist, courteous, authoritarian, curious about his life in Russia; Ehkaterina Karaminskova/Princess Yousopova/Prince Demidov’s Footman (f), young, artistic and most attractive, of French-Russian parentage, in love with John Field.

§ Synopsis “As Ehkaterina Karaminnskova writes her memories of John Field, she is startled by the arrival of Robert Field. Gradually, both try to complete the jigsaw of John Field’s colourful life from his time in Dublin, thence to London with Clementi, who later brought him to Russia, where he toured as a concert pianist. Both share memories of this captivating and unusual composer whose music permeates the piece with a dreamy and enigmatic ambience.

§ Comment “Easy to stage. No scene changes. Minimal props as the piece is essentially impressionistic. Both actors wear clothes of 1800s to suggest feeling of the times. • Notes re nocturnes are part of the script. • Premiered 1987. • “‘Nocturne’ has renewed interest in the colourful Irish composer whose work contrasts so strongly with his life.’—Evening Press. • Miriam Gallagher, author and playwright studied drama in London (LAMDA) and later at Focus, Dublin's Stanislavski theatre. She has received theatre and filmscript awards, worked in professional, community and prison theatre and also performed and directed for stage and screen. Her plays are particularly popular with amateur drama groups. Published in Miriam Gallagher’s Fancy Footwork: Selected Plays by Miriam Gallagher (Society of Irish Playwrights [formerly The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters’ Guild], 1991, 1997), ISBN 0953820009, 13 plays including 5 with small cast, like ‘Dreamkeeper’ and ‘The Sealwoman and the Fisher’). • The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters' Guild, originally named the Society of Irish Playwrights or SIP, “was founded in 1969 to safeguard the rights of playwrights. However nowadays it is involved just as much in screenwriters' issues as well as stage dramatists. Originally based in Liberty Hall where it had it's own office and a fulltime administrator, the Guild is now based in the Irish Writers' Centre 19 Parnell Square, Dublin, and has access to the secretarial and admin staff who work there. At present the Guild is a totally voluntary organisation run for and by writers. The Guild is affiliated to SIPTU, is a member of the European Writers' Congress, and has close alliances with the International Affiliation of World Guilds. The Guild has a considerable influence on writers' contracts in Radio and TV and, to a lesser extent, in Theatre. The Guild runs regular courses for aspiring writers and administers the annual O.Z. Whitehead playwriting competition. The Guild has a member on the Abbey Board of Directors and has two members on the Board of the Irish Writers' Centre.”—Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild, http://www.writerscentre.ie/IPSG.html, accessed December 15, 2003.

§ Themes Dublin, enigma, father-son relationship, Field (John Field, Irish composer, inventor of the Nocturne, 1728-1837), impressionism, Irish composer, Russia.



See also Miriam Gallagher’s

  • "Bohemians," a 50-minute bare-stage comedic theatrical musical interlude in English, set in a soprano's mind, 1989 and 1800s, 2m1f
  • "Carolan's Cap," a 45-minute bare-stage interlude with music in English; also, translated into Finnish by Tiina Ripatti, set in a convivial 'Big House', evening as he takes his nightcap of ale, 1738, 1m (+ musicians)
  • "Dreamkeeper," a 25-minute bare-stage drama in English, set in a wilderness, dawn-evening, 1984, 1m1f
  • "Kalahari Blues," a 20-minute comedy-drama in English, set in a run-down big house in an Irish town, day, 2001, 2m2f
  • "The Sealwoman and the Fisher," a 25-minute bare-stage play for dancers in English; also, translated into Erse (Irish Gaelic) by Margaret Birmingham, set in Sea Shore, Church, Fisher's house, day, moonlit night, 1984, 1m1f (+ chorus 1m2f, dancer)

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted December 17, 2003, and updated December 18, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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