A Green Art: Irish Poetry, Words, Film and Music

Sat 22 Jul 2023, 12 noon
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £12
past event
past event
Poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin stands in front of bookshelves

Roam across the poetic landscape of the Emerald Isle in this celebratory afternoon of mesmeric and musical readings and a film screening.

In the first half of the event, Cherry Smyth and Craig Jordan-Baker perform If the River is Hidden, a live version of their book which charts the journey of two writers from the source to the mouth of the Bann, Northern Ireland’s longest river.

Through a dialogue of prose and poetry, the history, landscape and divisions that have come to define the north of Ireland are explored and challenged. Smyth and Jordan-Baker are joined by flautist Eimear McGeown.

Their performance is followed by an extended reading from the mesmeric Irish poet, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.

The winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award, the International Griffin Poetry Prize and the 1573 International Poetry Award, she is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest poets.

In May 2022, in a special ceremony on Ní Chuilleanáin’s 80th birthday, President Michael D Higgins conferred the gold Torc, marking her election to the position of Saoi of Aosdána, the highest honour an artist in Ireland can ever receive.

After a short interval, film director Sé Merry Doyle introduces his feature-length documentary, Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool. The film is a rich visual journey, exposing the contradiction that existed between Patrick Kavanagh’s public persona and his poetry – and won the award for best documentary at the Boston Irish Film Festival.

Presented in partnership with the Irish Cultural Centre (Hammersmith)

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

Dates & times

Sat 22 Jul 2023, 12 noon
Approximate run time: 2 hours 15 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £12*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

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** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

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Purcell Room

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Get an overview of the seating layout of the Purcell Room by downloading our seating plan.

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An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. Please visit the Welcome Desk on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, where a member of staff can provide you with the key. You can also use the phone next to the Changing Places toilet to speak to a member of staff. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room cloakroom is closed. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the venues, so please leave large bags at home.

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Purcell Room is located in Queen Elizabeth Hall. For step-free access please use Royal Festival Hall JCB glass lift to Level 2 and enter via Riverside Terrace.

Talk to a member of staff at the auditorium entrance if you have a disability that means you can’t queue, or you need extra time to take your seat. They can arrange priority entry for you as soon as the doors open.

Please bear with us while we update our access map to reflect the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces. The step-free routes remain the same.

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