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The Great Hunger, Tom Mac Intyre's internationally celebrated play of 1983, and The Gallant John-Joe, his most recent dramatic work, show Mac Intyre to be one of the most daringly and consistently original Irish writers working today. The Great Hunger is Mac Intyre's version of Patrick Kavanagh's long poem of the same name. It represents the life and dreams of Patrick Maguire, Monaghan small farmer and potato-gatherer, a man suffering from sexual and spiritual starvation. The play fuses image, movement and language into a classic of contemporary Irish drama. The Gallant John-Joe is the soliloquy of John-Joe Concann, a Cavan widower grappling with physical and mental infirmity and trying unsuccessfully to plumb the mysteries of his relationship with his troubled daughter. His Lear-like cry, by turns tragic and uproariously funny, is both instantly recognizable and marvellously strange, a creation only Mac Intyre could have brought to the stage, and the page.
TOM MAC INTYRE, born in Cavan in 1931, is the author of many works of fiction and poetry as well as plays. His next novel, Story of a Girl, is forthcoming in 2003.