Poésie et Prose

The Great Hunger

One-man-show by Peter Duffy

The Great Hunger

First published in 1942, this epic poem is one of the classics of Irish literature – many feel it is Kavanagh’s best work, a masterpiece. It is a long narrative poem set in rural County Monaghan in the 1930s/early 40s. It concerns the life and struggles of the anti-hero and small farmer Patrick Maguire. An unsentimental portrait, it has echoes of the Great Famine in the title and the text. Originally from County Monaghan, Peter Duffy has a natural feel for the language and sensibility of the poem.  He essentially translates the page to the stage with the aid of an evocative soundscape - an accessible, insightful and entertaining piece of theatre.

« [Peter Duffy] has the ability to embody the poet’s presence and to speak his words musically »
Brian Lynch, poet and critic 

Image : Patrick Kavanagh ©The Wiltshire Collection courtesy of the National Library of Ireland