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Riverbank Arts Centre and Dan Colley

Lost Lear

Town Hall Theatre

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Don’t miss Dan Colley's very moving production of Lost Lear - a moving and darkly comic remix of Shakespeare’s play - on Wed 8 November for one night only. Examining dementia from a sufferer's perspective, this production deals with the reality of a complex illness for the family involved. It does so through the unlikely lens of Shakespeare's protagonist King Lear as the main character Joy remains living in an old memory of a rehearsal she once did for the Shakespeare tragedy.

At once fast paced and thought-provoking, Lost Lear lands us into the world of Joy, a woman with dementia, who is being cared for through a method whereby people live inside an old memory. Joy’s delicately maintained reality is upended by the arrival of her estranged son who, being cast as Cordelia, must find a way to speak his piece from within the limited role he’s given. Using puppetry, projection, and live video effects, the audience is landed in Joy’s world as layers of her past and present - fiction and reality - overlap and distort. Duration: Duration 75 mins, no interval

Following the national and international tour of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Dan Colley and his company have successfully turned their sights on what is best described as a very (very!) loose adaptation of King Lear, examining the self and that part of us that is inaccessible to others. “Who is it that can tell me who I am?” — King Lear, Act I, Scene IV

Contains strong themes including depiction of the experience of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

★★★★★ “Brilliantly conceived and executed… a remarkable achievement” – The Examiner

★★★★★ “Devastating stuff, deftly done…Colley is a theatre maker of remarkable imagination and insight” – The Stage

★★★★★ “Bravely visits painful places to tenderly illuminate them” – The Arts Review

★★★★ “In a role demanding a wide physical and emotional range…Bowe is remarkable” – Irish Mail on Sunday

If you have been affected by this material in any way, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s National Helpline is available 6 days a week on 1800 341 341 or email


Performed by Venetia Bowe, Peter Daly and Manus Halligan
Written by Dan Colley and company after William Shakespeare
Directed by Dan Colley
Music Composer Daniel McAuley
Set and Props Designer Andrew Clancy
Lighting Designer Suzie Cummins
Costume Designer Cherie White
AV Designer Ross Ryder
Sound Designer Kevin Gleeson
Production Photographer Ste Murray
Production Manager Eoin Kilkenny
Stage Manager Evie McGuinness
Assistant Stage Manager Sarah Purcell
Producer Matthew Smyth

Supported by the Arts Council | An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Fishamble: The New Play Company New Play Clinic and by field:arts.