The Abbey Theatre goes on tour with American playwright Eugene O'Neill's play 'Long Day's Journey Into Night'.

The tour can be seen as an "out of town opening, a dummy run" before it returns to the Abbey stage in Dublin at the end of the tour on 5 June. 

It's no easy task to get the Abbey Theatre on the road.

Unusually the play is on at Taibhdhearc in Galway, an Irish-speaking theatre. Despite the fact that there is some controversy over an Irish language theatre staging a play in English, the people of Galway have flocked to see it. 

The tour will not only be visiting major towns around Ireland, but also smaller villages such as Carrickmore in County Tyrone, a village of just 269 people. Manager of the Abbey Company Phil O'Kelly talks to Cathal O'Shannon about the decision to bring the tour to small town Ireland. 

As the national theatre we must go around the country. But our nationality is not limited to big areas like Cork or Limerick. We must go to the small areas too.

Mr O'Kelly also talks about the logistics and finances of undertaking a national tour.  

Philip O'Flynn and Angela Newman play James and Mary Tyrone in the three and a half hour theatrical marathon. Vincent Dowling plays their youngest son Edmond. The play tells the story of the domestic life of a drug-addicted mother. 

For six weeks for them and the rest of the cast, it means getting used to stages of different sizes, in theatres good and bad, in dressing rooms which are sometimes skimpy, sometimes cold, sometimes inadequate.

After a short excerpt from the performance, Cathal O'Shannon meets some Galway theatre-goers to find out what they think of the Abbey production. During the interval in the performance members of the audience comment on what they think of the play, the price and whether they would welcome the Abbey Company back.

A 'Newsbeat' report broadcast on 18 April 1967. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.