Mon 13 – Thu 16 Nov at 8pm | Sat 18 + Sat 25 Nov at 2pm A treat for the ear, the eye and the imagination – Down Recorder Peter Duffy’s powerful theatrical performance of Patrick Kavanagh’s poetic masterpiece The Great Hunger has toured all over Ireland and abroad, to popular and critical acclaim including performances in the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, the Cathedral Quarter Festival in Belfast, The Town House in Galway, Theatre Royal in Waterford and a very successful two week run in Smock Alley in 2016.

The epic poem (1942) adapted for stage is set in rural Co. Monaghan in the 1930’s/early 40’s but could have been set in most rural areas of the country. With echoes of the Great Famine” in the title and the text, the narrative thread concerns the life and struggles of small farmer Patrick Maguire, a life of economic and imaginative privation, especially psychical and sexual. Yet this magnificent piece is full of humour, lyrical beauty, drama, description and mystical insight.

“..a finely-achieved and compelling production. Its conclusion was greeted with a standing ovation from the appreciative audience and the accolade was fully merited….it is an outstanding performance” – Galway Advertiser

“Peter Duffy’s one-man performance of the poem is as epic as the work…softly spoken, with despair and regret pouring out of his being, Duffy hypnotises his audience; constantly drawing us into his tale. He
captures all the lyricism of the verse and the emptiness of a man who has stood guard over an empty castle for far too long.” – Waterford News and Star

Running time 75 min approx, no interval

This performance has been made possible by the kind permission of the Trustees of the Estate of the late Katherine B Kavanagh, through the Jonathon Williams Literary Agency.


  • €14.00 | €16.00


  • Tue, Nov 14 | 20:00
    Wed, Nov 15 | 20:00
    Thu, Nov 16 | 20:00
    Sat, Nov 18 | 14:00
    Sat, Nov 25 | 14:00

Smock Alley Theatre
6/7 Exchange Street Lower
Temple Bar
Dublin 8
Co. Dublin
T + 353 (0)1 677 0014