Abbey Theatre’s ‘The Great Hunger’ sells out in 10 minutes

From the epic poem of Patrick Kavanagh, The Great Hunger will premiere at the Dublin Theatre Festival 2020.

The promenade production of The Great Hunger is adapted from the work of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh. Tickets sold out within minutes of opening for bookings. The show opened for bookings at 12:03 p.m, was sold out on The Abbey’s website by 12:10 p.m., and was fully booked on DTF’s site by 12:30 p.m today. The new production will be premiere as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2020 and is a joint venture of the Abbey Theatre and IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art).

The Great Hunger new production of The Abbey Theatre. image source: @AbbeyTheatre

The Great Hunger‘s ticket sales were announced at 10:59pm via social media, after the new government safety guidelines announced last night made it possible for the production to go ahead. Ticket sales opened for bookings from 12:03 p.m and it was completely sold out by 12:30 pm. Theatre lovers around the country celebrated the announcement of a live, in-person event that will take place on the grounds of IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) at Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

The Great Hunger is co-directed by “award-winning Irish theatre directors Caitríona McLaughlin and Conall Morrison”

A cast of 16 actors and 10 musicians will “bring the darkness and light of Kavanagh’s tragic masterpiece to life” which portrays the isolation of a man, Patrick Maguire. Tied to the husbandry of poor soil, Maguire’s hunger is not a physical one ‘’but the hunger of the senses created through upbringing, poverty and religion’. 

“And he is not so sure now if his mother was right
When she praised the man who made a field his bride. 
Watch him, watch him, that man on a hill whose spirit
Is a wet sack flapping about the knees of time.
He lives that his little field may stay fertile
When his own body Is spread in the bottom of a ditch under two coulters crossed in Christ’s Name.”

A stanza from Patrick Kavanagh’s Poem

Marking the historic partnership between the Abbey Theatre and IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), the new production of ‘The Great Hunger’ will premiere as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival 2020 and will run from 1 October to 10 October.

Despite the absence of any world affairs or sexual pleasure, the play is ‘both spiritual and celebratory.’ (Playography Ireland). 

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