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The Night of the Dance

By Islay D. Shanks


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The play has a West Highland setting but as the characters are all "real'' people it could be transposed to the idiom of any coastal district. The hero, Alan, is infatuated with a smart town-bred young lady, and as the curtain opens, is in the process of getting ready to go to "the Dance'' with her. Just as they are about to leave, news comes suddenly that there is a small yacht in distress just outside the bay. There is no one but Alan who can go to the rescue, and before he knows it he is involved in a conflict between duty and inclination, courage and cowardice, argued out for him by Morag (his real affinity) and the slick young lady from the town. The play proceeds unashamedly to a happy ending, but the fierceness of the quarrel between the two girls, and the controlled anxiety of the mother as she awaits the return of the boat, create the tension of tragedy.