Dan Colley, Riverbank Arts Centre and Mermaid Arts Centre presents

Lost Lear

“Who is it that can tell me who I am?”

― King Lear, Act I Scene IV

Following the national and international tour of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Dan Colley and his company have turned their sights on a very (very) loose adaptation of King Lear, examining the self and that part of us that’s inaccessible to others. The show will preview in Riverbank Arts Centre before it’s official opening in Dublin Theatre Festival, with additional dates at Mermaid Arts Centre post-festival.

Fast-paced and thought-provoking, Lost Lear lands us into the world of Joy (Venetia Bowe), a woman with dementia, who is being cared for through a method where people live inside an old memory.

Co-produced by Mermaid Arts Centre and Riverbank Arts Centre and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and supported by Fishamble’s New Play Clinic.

‘Lost Lear' is about two people trying to connect over a gradually widening chasm that dementia opens up. It uses innovative theatre technology to distort our perceptions of reality and explore 'King Lear's' themes of reconciliation and the mercurial nature of the truth. Our adaptation focuses on the heartbreaking family drama of 'Lear' that has a lot to offer our dislocated times in which sometimes the people closest to us, seem to live in completely different realities. It is essentially a play about two people who are trying, and mostly failing, to talk to each other.’

Dan Colley, director


Written by Dan Colley, with the company, after Shakespeare

Directed by Dan Colley


  • Joy - Venetia Bowe
  • Conor - Peter Daly
  • Laim - Manus Halligan
  • Ensemble - Clodagh O'Farrel, Em Ormonde

Composed by Daniel McAuley

Set Design - Andrew Clancy

Lighting Design - Suzie Cummins

Costume Design - Cherie White

Sound Design - Kevin Gleeson

AV Design - Ross Ryder

Assistant Director - Joy Nesbitt

Stage Manager - Evie McGuinness

Assistant Stage Manager - Sarah Purcell

Sound Operator - John Norton

Chief LX - Adrian Moylan

Chief AV - Laura Rainsford

Assistant Production Manager - Ben Moore

Production Manager - Eoin Kilkenny

Graphic Design - Sarah Moloney

Lead Image - Patricio Cassinoni

Production Photography - Ste Murray

Producer - Matthew Smyth


Dan Colley is a theatre maker with a particular focus on devised ensemble work, theatre-for-young-audiences and large-scale spectacle. As Artistic Director of Collapsing Horse (2013-19) he directed nine original productions, a series of ten radio plays, an exhibition in the National Museum, and toured to New York, London, Edinburgh, Bergen, Moscow, and 15 Irish venues. He was also Co-Artistic Director of the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival from 2017-19. Collapsing Horse’s final production, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards and four Dublin Fringe Awards, including ‘Best Production’. Dan directed and co-created TWENTY FIFTY with Fionnuala Gygax, an online interactive theatre piece part of DUETS in Dublin Fringe 2020.

Dan was awarded the Arts Council's Next Generation Bursary Award in 2016. He is Theatre Artist in Residence in the Riverbank Arts Centre, a member of the Project Arts Centre, and on the board of the Dublin Fringe Festival.

Riverbank Arts Centre 21st - 23rd July

Dublin Theatre Festival 26th - 9th October

Mermaid Arts Centre 13th - 15th October


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