Controversy over the decision of the Abbey Theatre Company to stage 'The Great Hunger' as the first production on a tour of Russia.

While performances have received a positive response from audiences, there has been some criticism of the decision to stage Tom MacIntyre's 'The Great Hunger' as the first play of the tour.

The Abbey is also staging a production of John B Keane's 'The Field'. 

There was also some surprise that no member of The Irish Embassy in Russia had met the Abbey group on their arrival in Moscow. Daragh Mac Fionnbarr, First Secretary of the Irish Embassy outlines the diplomatic protocol taking place during the Abbey Theatre tour.

After a week in Leningrad, the Abbey actors have moved on to Moscow where Colm Connolly catches up with some of the cast of 'The Field' including Donal Farmer and Niall Toibin, who are feeling the nerves before their performance. 

Colm Connolly also speaks to the cast of 'The Great Hunger', who describe the different reaction to the play between Leningrad and Moscow. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 February 1988. The reporter is Colm Connolly.