25 May 2022

Tarry Flynn: Kavanagh’s theatrical love letter to life in rural Ireland hits the Longford stage

Tarry Flynn: Kavanagh’s theatrical love letter to life in rural Ireland hits the Longford stage

Nomad Theatre Network and Livin’ Dred Theatre present a re-imagined production of the well-loved Irish play, Tarry Flynn, touring to venues around the country this spring.

Set in 1930s Cavan, Tarry Flynn tells the hilarious story of the farmer, poet and lover-from-afar, and his quest for big fields, young women and the meaning of life.

Tarry’s adventures uncover the beauty in every aspect of nature and farm life, while he seeks to keep up his desperate campaign to woo the local girls. Or at least have a roll in the hay!

One of Ireland’s most-loved poets, Patrick Kavanagh’s novel Tarry Flynn is hugely popular with Irish audiences, with its themes of sexual politics, isolation, poetry, farming, and our relationship with the land.

With a large-scale cast, Kavanagh’s seminal work, adapted for stage by Conall Morrison, is given dynamic new life under the direction of award-winning Aaron Monaghan, in an ambitious, imaginative and highly-physicalised staging, with actors playing a multitude of characters – and animals - throughout.

The hilarious and energetic new production of Tarry Flynn promises to be one of the theatrical highlights of the year.

This production continues the close-knit relationship which NOMAD and Livin’ Dred have cultivated over the years, capitalising on a highly successful and fruitful partnership.

NOMAD Theatre Network has produced a host of high quality theatre productions including The Dead School by Pat McCabe directed by Padraic McIntyre/Livin Dred and The Far Off Hills by Lennox Robinson directed by Mikel Murfi.

It collaborated with Teac Damsa in 2018 to bring their seminal work Swan Lake: Lock na hEala on tour nationally also.

Over the past seventeen years Livin’ Dred Theatre has established itself as one of the most important and well-known independent theatre companies in Ireland.

Tarry Flynn follows up on the company’s recent smash-hit successes, which include a highly-acclaimed run of Danti-Dan by Gina Moxley, and a sell-out tour of Trad by Mark Doherty which was seen by over 3600 people nationally.

Aaron Monaghan’s work to date as both an actor and director has garnered him huge respect with audiences throughout the country.

Aaron says that Tarry Flynn is the book that he picks up and reads a few chapters of most often.

“Maybe it’s because I’m from Cavan and it’s set there, but I feel deeply connected to the book,” he said.

“Kavanagh makes you laugh your face off in one paragraph and punches you in the stomach with the tragedy of the next one. The great un-heroic Irish hero.”

At once heart-breaking and hilarious, don’t miss this joyful, earthy, imaginative, energetic and beautiful production which has been described as “a love-letter to life in rural Ireland”.

“It’s wonderful after such a long time to be back in the theatre with a full cast and crew,” said Niamh McGrath who plays the mother.

“Aaron Monaghan has truly found so much humour from every corner of the play and there’s a wonderful pace to the show - we all play numerous characters which adds to the dynamism of the piece.

“The play is touring to the Nomad network of regional venues, and we are hugely excited to be performing in front of audiences across Ireland.

Tarry Flynnwill be staged at Backstage Theatre on March 22 and 23. Tickets available via

This production has been funded by the Arts Council with support from Cavan County Council.

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