The Last Return at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Druid will tour Sonya Kelly’s new play The Last Return to Traverse Theatre as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Druid today announced that their production of Sonya Kelly’s new play The Last Return will tour to Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August as part of the prestigious Traverse Theatre’s festival programme. This news follows the recent announcement that The Last Return will receive its world premiere in July at Galway International Arts Festival.

The Last Return is a thrilling comedy about conflict, peace and the pursuit of territory at any cost. One final night. One last chance. Five people queue for a ticket to the hottest show in town. All they must do is simply wait in line. But what in life is ever simple? Who will triumph, who will fail, and who will walk away with… The Last Return?

Following the success of Furniture (2018) and Once Upon a Bridge (2021), The Last Return marks the third time Druid will premiere a new work by Sonya Kelly. Critics praised Once Upon a Bridge for packing ‘a terrific, touching punch’ (Sunday Independent) and Furniture for being ‘whip smart’ (Irish Independent) and ‘wickedly insightful’ (The Irish Times).

The Last Return has already earned the acclaimed playwright a nomination for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, while Once Upon a Bridge was nominated for Best New Play at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards in 2021, and Furniture won the Stewart Parker Trust Award in 2019.

Sonya Kelly has enjoyed great success at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in previous years. In 2012, her debut play, The Wheelchair on My Face, won a Scotsman Fringe First award, while How to Keep an Alien, playing at the Traverse Theatre in 2015, was described by critics as ‘a treat, and one to fall in love with’ (The Guardian). Druid has been touring to Edinburgh since the 1980s, to both the International Festival and the Festival Fringe, and has won many Scotsman Fringe First and Herald Angels awards over the years.

Playwright Sonya Kelly: ‘Inspired by a chillingly hostile afternoon I once spent queueing for theatre tickets, The Last Return is not only a play about a play, but an absurdist mediation on the justification of human conflict, and how far we are prepared to go in the pursuit of what we desire. I am thrilled to be back with Druid for a third time and to have this work presented at Traverse Theatre as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.’

Garry Hynes, Druid’s Artistic Director: ‘It is an honour for Druid to continue our relationship with Sonya Kelly and to produce The Last Return, our third time presenting the premiere of a new play by this most talented of Irish writers. Sonya’s work speaks to our hearts and our minds and gives us a right laugh along the way, and I believe The Last Return might just be her best work yet. I can’t wait for Festival audiences to experience it this summer.’