Dan Colley with the company (after Shakespeare) present

Lost Lear

"Who is it that can tell me who I am?"- King Lear, Act I Scene IV

A moving and darkly comic remix of Shakespeare's play told from the point of view of Joy, a person with dementia, who is living in an old memory of rehearsing 'King Lear'. 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 are landed in Joy's world as layers of her past and present, fiction and reality, overlap and distort. 'Lost Lear' is a thought provoking meditation on theatre, artifice and the possibility of communicating across the chasms between us.

A Q & A post-show talk will take place on Tuesday 21st November with Paul Halferty and Máire-Ann Doyle of the Dementia Carers Campaign Network

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 tour will officially open in Riverbank Arts Centre on the 19th of September (tour dates below) and tour until the start of December.

supported by field:arts

‘Brilliantly conceived and executed…a remarkable achievement’

★★★★★ The Examiner

Cast: Venetia Bowe; Peter Daly; Manus Halligan, Em Ormonde, Clodagh O’Farrell
Directed by Dan Colley
Music Composed by Daniel McAuley
Set Design by Andrew Clancy
Lighting Design by Suzie Cummins
Costume Design by Cherie White
Sound Design by Kevin Gleeson
AV Design by Ross Ryder

Lost Lear  Approved 3 Pic By Ste Murray


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.

Other directing credits include, Me Michael by Tara McKevitt, and a short as part of Fourteen Voices From the Bloodied Field for the Abbey Theatre and Danse Macabre, a large-scale processional street theatre piece for Macnas.

In 2015, Dan was the Creative Producer of TWENTY FIRST the Dublin Fringe's 21st birthday project. Dramaturgy credits include WillFredd, Sugarglass, Louise White and Macnas.

Dan trained as a youth theatre facilitator with Youth Theatre Ireland and has run workshops and classes in the Lir, Trinity College Dublin, LA LGBT Center's Homeless Youth Services, and in schools, Youth Theatres and with communities Nationally.

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.

‘Devastating stuff, deftly done…Colley is a theatre maker of remarkable imagination and insight’

★★★★★ The Stage
Co-produced by Mermaid Arts Centre and Riverbank Arts Centre. Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland