Did you know the Abbey Theatre toured to Leningrad and Moscow in the 1980s? When officials from Russia visited Dublin, they chose ‘The Field’ by John B. Keane and ‘The Great Hunger’ by Tom Mac Intyre as the two plays that would resonate in Russia.
A full convoy of people including the actors and staff involved in the productions, Abbey photographer Fergus Bourke and journalists travelled to Russia on an Aer Lingus flight. The Company soaked up Russian life and visited the Bolshoi Ballet, (Mikhail Gorbachev was in attendance on the same night). The actors commented on how clean the streets were and the fact that advertising around the streets was to promote cultural events only.
On the flight back applause broke out after Aeroflot, the Russian airline made an announcement congratulating the actors, staff and management of the Abbey Theatre on their tour saying they hoped to see the Abbey Theatre back in the USSR soon.
The cast of ‘The Field‘ Brendan Conroy (Tadhg McCabe), Donal Farmer (The Bird) and Niall Toibin (The Bull Mc Cabe) are photographed here in Red Square, Moscow.