For Nollaig na mBan, we present the RTÉ Drama On One presentation of James Joyce's short story The Dead, read by Stephen Rea and taken from Joyce's collection Dubliners - listen below.

Taking place on Nollaig na mBan at 15 Usher's Island, The Miss Morkan's annual dance was always a great affair. Everybody who knew them came to it. Never once had it fallen flat. It's after 10' o clock when their favourite nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta arrive. As Gabriel tries to socially negotiate the evening with nervous awkwardness, he learns of an old secret love wound his wife has nursed, and he will experience his own epiphany on the Feast of The Epiphany.

Part 1 of 10: It's after 10' o clock when their favourite nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Greta arrive. As Gabriel tries to socially negotiate the evening with nervous awkwardness, he learns of an old secret love wound his wife has nursed, and he will experience his own epiphany on the Feast of The Epiphany...

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Part 2 of 10: The dancing has begun and the party is warming up as more guests arrive. Fearing an incident, however, Aunt Kate dispatches Gabriel to chaperone Freddy Malins...

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Part 3 of 10: Having successfully manoeuvred Freddy Malins upstairs, Gabriel's irritation increases as his dancing partner, Miss Ivors, teases him gently, but relentlessly...

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Part 4 of 10: Gabriel listens absent-mindedly to Mrs Malins account of her travels in Scotland. As preparations for supper begin, he anxiously runs over the headings of his speech...

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Part 5 of 10: After Molly Ivors' hasty exit, Gabriel, settled at the head of the table, carves and distributes plates of goose meat to the guests. While he eats in silence, the talk turns to opera and the great singers of the past, Caruso and Parkinson...

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Part 6 of 10: After port and sherry are passed around, silence descends on the table. Gabriel pushes back his chair and stands up nervously to speak...

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Part 7 of 10: The party is winding down, cabs are hailed and all the guests are leaving. Gabriel waits in the hall for Greta to come down but she is transfixed, leaning on the bannister listening to an old song...

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Part 8 of 10: D'Arcy’s singing of The Lass of Aughrim has left Gretta pensive and preoccupied - a mood that remains with her as she and Gabriel share a cab to The Gresham Hotel..

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Part 9 of 10: Gabriel and Gretta have arrived at The Gresham Hotel. As the night porter leads them to their room, Gabriel is perplexed by Gretta's abstraction and wonders is she annoyed about something...

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Part 10 of 10: Gabriel and Gretta are in their room in the Gresham Hotel, and Gabriel finally learns of the old secret love wound his wife has nursed. Gazing out the window as snow softly falls all over Ireland, he experiences his own epiphany on the Feast of The Epiphany...

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