Abbey Theatre in partnership with IMMA

The Great Hunger

1 - 10 October 2020

by Patrick Kavanagh

Booking Information

Dates: 1 – 10 October
Royal Hospital Kilmainham

Times: Monday – Saturday, four performances per evening with staggered start times:

Group One: 6.30pm

Group Two: 7pm

Group Three: 8pm

Group Four: 8.30pm

Tickets: €15 – €30 / Conc. €15 – €25.

Returns: Tickets won’t be available on site, any returns will only be available online.

Running Time: Total performance time is approximately 90 minutes, inclusive of 30 minutes walking. There is no interval.

Please Note: As this is an outdoor promenade production it will involve walking, so appropriate clothing and footwear is advised. Total walking distance is 1.7km.

Access: The Great Hunger will be accessible. Should you have any access requirements please let us know by calling our Box Office on (01) 87 87 222. We will be delighted to advise you on what assistance we can provide.

Social Distancing: Please respect social distancing and remain 2 metres apart from those around you at all times. We ask that you adhere to and follow the guidance of staff at all times.

Sign language interpreted performance: Friday 9 October, 6:30pm

The clock ticked on. Time passes.

A historic partnership between the Abbey Theatre and IMMA, The Great Hunger is a new production of the epic Patrick Kavanagh poem.

Patrick Maguire struggles with the choices he made for survival. Was committing to the land worth the price? Does the beauty of nature redeem his isolated journey through the years?

As you walk through the grounds of IMMA at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, a cast of 16 actors and 10 musicians will bring the darkness and light of Kavanagh’s tragic masterpiece to life.

Conceived by the Directors of the Abbey Theatre, The Great Hunger is jointly directed by award-winning Irish theatre directors Caitríona McLaughlin and Conall Morrison.

This production will premiere as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.


GAA material courtesy of the IFI Irish Film Archive.

Online Programme 

Download The Great Hunger – Online Programme

Audience FAQs 

Here’s everything you’ll need to know before attending a performance of The Great Hunger.

Performance Route 

There are 14 different performance locations. Each audience group will be accompanied by an Abbey staff member, who will direct you towards the next location. Here is a map of the route.

Our Customer Experience 

Your safety is our top priority. Here’s more detail on how you can safely enjoy our production.

To enjoy your visit to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham safely, visit their website for information on their adapted customer experience.


The Great Hunger | Trailer 

Production Images 

© Ros Kavanagh

The Great Hunger | In Rehearsal 

The Great Hunger | Performance Route 


  • Cast: Emmet Byrne
  • Cast: Liam Carney
  • Cast: Peter Coonan
  • Cast: Derbhle Crotty
  • Cast: Naoise Dunbar
  • Cast: Felispeaks
  • Cast: Maeve Fitzgerald
  • Cast: Andrea Irvine
  • Cast: Mark Lambert
  • Cast: Patrick Martins
  • Cast: Eleanor Methven
  • Cast: Michael Glenn Murphy
  • Cast: Bríd Ní Neachtain
  • Cast: Barry Simpson
  • Cast: Eloise Stevenson
  • Cast: Catherine Walsh
  • Musician: Éamonn Cagney
  • Musician: Susan Doyle
  • Musician: Dermot Dunne
  • Musician: Ken Edge
  • Musician: Caimin Gilmore
  • Musician: Vyvienne Long
  • Musician: Cora Venus Lunny
  • Musician: Lisa O'Neill
  • Musician: Niwel Tsumbu
  • Musician: Olesya Zdorovetska

  • Director: Caitríona McLaughlin
  • Director: Conall Morrison
  • Lighting Designer and Set Consultant: Paul Keogan
  • Composer and Musical Director: Conor Linehan
  • Costume Designer: Saileóg O'Halloran
  • Composer, Stanza 1: Lisa O'Neill
  • Voice Director: Andrea Ainsworth
  • Movement Director, Stanza 8: Liz Roche
  • Casting: Sarah Jones
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26/27 Lower Abbey Street
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