A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings


In a kitchen, in a theatre, two storytellers and their audience find something remarkable; a very old man with enormous wings.

Starting from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story ‘A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings’, Collapsing Horse bring this classic piece of magic-realism to the stage.

A young couple find an injured old man outside their house, an old man who just happens to have a pair of enormous wings. The wise neighbour woman tells them he’s an angel. She warns them to keep their distance. The priest says he’s an imposter. He warns them not to be tricked. The doctor examines him. He thinks more men should have wings. As pilgrims flock to see him, hoping to be healed by him, hoping for a gawp, they leave with something different than what they expected.

Using a combination storytelling tools including music, puppetry, live video projection and the willingness of the audience, Collapsing Horse brings this story to the stage in search of its beautiful, strange, emotional richness.

Ages 8+

– Reviews

“Theatre exists for shows like this…fifty minutes of near theatrical perfection”– The Arts Review ★★★★★

“Transcendentally beautiful” – The Scotsman ★★★★

“Imperiously Entertaining” –  The List ★★★★

“Remarkably Inventive” – The Times ★★★★

“A model of ingenuity through humble means”–  The Irish Times ★★★★

“With complex ideas, beautiful stage imagery and a literary style that fits a prose master, there is as much for adults to enjoy about [this] family-friendly fable as there is for children”– Sunday​ ​Business​ ​Post ★★★★

“Sublime production” – Musings In Intermissions ★★★★

“Brilliantly, wittily, inventively told” – The Wee Review ★★★★

“Unmissable”  – Everything Theatre ★★★★★

“Totally engrossed” – Edinburgh Festivals for Kids ★★★★★

“So brilliantly conceived”Bouqetsbrickbats ★★★★★


– Cast + Crew

Based on the short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Directed by Dan Colley
Adapted by Dan Colley, Manus Halligan + Genevieve Hulme Beaman
Produced by Matthew Smyth
Set and Objects designed by Andrew Clancy
Lighting designed by Sarah Jane Shiels
Composition and Sound Design by Alma Kelliher
AV Design by Eoin Kilkenny
Production Management by Eoin Kilkenny
Stage Management by Olivia Drennan
Photography by Ste Murray

Cast 2019 – 2021
Manus Halligan
Genevieve Hulme Beaman

Cast 2022
Karen McCartney
Cillian Leneghan

Cast 2022 – 2023
Karen McCartney
Manus Halligan & Aidan Crowe

Cast 2024
Genevieve Hulme Beaman
Manus Halligan

– production history

Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
Dublin Fringe Festival (Project Arts Centre)
Abbey Theatre (Peacock), Dublin

Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
Everyman Theare, Cork
An Grainan, Letterkenny
Belltable Theatre, Limerick
Baboró Children’s Arts Festival (Mick Lally Theatre), Galway
Linenhall, Castlebar
Backstage Theatre, Longford
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray

Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
Young at Art Festival (MAC Theatre), Belfast
Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Summerhall), Edinburgh
Westival (Town Hall Theatre), Westport

STET, The Hague, Netherlands
Irish Arts Center, New York, USA
Ottawa Children’s Arts Festival, Ottawa, Canada
Brighton Festival, Brighton, UK
Imaginate, Edinburgh, UK
Farnham Maltings, UK
Hemsted Park, Cranbrook, UK
Norden Farm Arts, Maidenhead, UK
The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, UK
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, UK
Lakeside Theatre, Colchester, UK
Norwich Theatre, UK
South Street Arts, Reading, UK
The Berry Theatre, Hedge End, UK
Connaught Theatre, Worthing, UK

Stratford Circus (in association with Unicorn Theatre), London, UK
Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
The Unicorn, London, UK
Pop Up Festival @ Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Stockholm, Sweden


Funded by Arts Council Theatre Project Award and made in the context of Collapsing Horse’s residency in Riverbank Arts Centre, supported by the Arts Council and Kildare County Council. International touring supported by Culture Ireland.