The Great Hunger ★★★★☆
In 1983 writer Tom McIntyre and director Patrick Mason collaborated on an adaptation of Patrick Kavanagh’s epic poem The Great Hunger at The Peacock Theatre. The resulting production was a landmark moment in Irish theatre, fusing word and image, movement and text in a startling new way. In this new theatrical version of the poem for the Abbey Theatre, directors Caitríona McLaughlin and Conall Morrison take ownership of Kavanagh’s poem in what is more a staging than an adaptation of the text.
The poem, which is structured in 14 discrete parts, is shared among 16 actors, who we encounter as we move through the grounds of the old Royal Hospital. The journey is one that changes as the evening turns into night, but McLaughlin and Morrison, sensitive to the scope of sky and the breadth of landscape offered from certain vantage points, allow nature