The Wrens


An odd collection of tricksters live in the gorse bushes at the edge of the town. They’re best left alone, the townsfolk say. We’ve nothing to do with them. What they don’t say is … except for the odd healing spell, love cure, hair-cut, or to burn them out of their nests every night.

Following the critical and audience response to Lost Lear (nominated for Best New Play; Best Supporting Actor and Best AV Design at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2023), Dan Colley is now making work inspired by his research from his residency at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. The Wrens is a dark, yet vibrant fable loosely based on the Curragh Wrens.

This magic-realist piece for audiences aged 8+ is a poignant, funny, and wildly speculative interpretation of history and myths. A new piece from Dan Colley (A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Lost Lear) is bound to captivate and inspire.


Co-commissioned by Draíocht and co-produced by Riverbank Arts Centre, supported both by Fishamble’s New Play Clinic and The Ark; funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Premiere: Riverbank Arts Centre, April 2023

Transfer: Draoícht, May 2023

Touring in 2024

55 mins


Written by Dan Colley,
with Osaro Azams, Venetia Bowe, Karen McCartney & Maeve Stone
Music by Maeve Stone
Directed by Dan Colley
Produced by Matthew Smyth

Performed by Osaro Azams, Venetia Bowe, Karen McCartney
Set and Costume Design Molly O’Cathain
Sound Design Alma Kelliher
Lighting Design Suzie Cummins
Dramaturg Amanda Piesse
Costume Supervisor/ Assistant Costume Designer Saoirse O’Shea
Hair and Makeup Design Michelle Ruane

Stage Manager Evie McGuinness
Assistant Stage Manager Sarah Purcell
Chief LX Adrian Moylan
Production Manager Eoin Kilkenny
Graphic Design Sarah Moloney
Production photography Ros Kavanagh