A Galway 2020 Commission

“I have often thought our ghosts will haunt that path and our talk hang in the air.”
Lady Gregory

Druid returns to live theatre in the magic fields, woods and gardens of Coole Park in a tribute to, and an animation of, the life and works of Galway’s Augusta Lady Gregory. Launched in the historic setting of her Coole Park home, DruidGregory will include five of Lady Gregory’s one-act plays, performed by a company of 12 actors and musicians, and directed by Garry Hynes.

This will be followed by a barnstorming 14 venue, 4-week tour of Gregory’s beloved county Galway, from Portumna to Glenamaddy, Ballinasloe to Clifden, and many more communities in between. The tour will include unique one-off outdoor performances at some of Galway’s world-famous, historic sites such as Kylemore Abbey, Teach an Phiarsaigh and Ballyglunin Station.

The plays include The Rising of the Moon, Hyacinth Halvey, The Gaol Gate, McDonough’s Wife and the revolutionary Cathleen ní Houlihan (written with WB Yeats). The project will also include some of her poetry and other writings, as well as music and dance.

Performed entirely outdoors and fully embracing all restrictions in place due to Covid-19, Druid will launch this ambitious project in the celebrated home of Lady Gregory, in a week-long series of performances amid the paths and parklands of Coole.

Additionally, as part of the Education and Community strand of the tour, DruidGregory will include one-off, outdoor performances of Galway writer Tom Murphy’s first play, On the Outside (written with Noel O’Donoghue).

‘A theatre highlight of the decade’- Irish Independent
‘Druid has defied a pandemic’- Sunday Times

Cathleen Ní Houlihan by Lady Gregory and WB Yeats
The revolutionary play that was on the opening bill of the Abbey Theatre in December 1904 and which Yeats later, poetically, feared sent many young Irish men to their death, was co-authored by Lady Gregory though was not credited as such for many years. It is Killala 1798, ships are in the bay and revolution is in the air. As the Gillane family prepare for their eldest son’s wedding, a mysterious old woman appears at their door.

The Gaol Gate by Lady Gregory
After receiving an official letter in the post, Mary Cahel and her daughter-in-law Mary Cushin travel through the night to Galway Gaol. Unable to read and afraid of asking help of their neighbours, they arrive at the gate hoping to find out what has happened their son and husband, Denis Cahel, jailed eight weeks previously along with two companions.

Hyacinth Halvey by Lady Gregory
The fount of all knowledge, Mrs Delane the postmistress of Cloon, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new SUB-SANITARY INSPECTOR, Hyacinth Halvey. Laden down with recommendations of good and saintly character, can Hyacinth possibly cope with the high expectations of the villagers?

McDonough’s Wife by Lady Gregory
It is the fair day in Galway and the wife of the acclaimed piper McDonough has recently died. But where is the wicked and roguish McDonough? Will he return in time (and with enough money) to ensure his wife receives a proper, dignified burial?

The Rising of the Moon by Lady Gregory

On a moonlit night in Galway, three policemen are posting WANTED notices offering a £100 reward. An Irish rebel has escaped prison and they fear he may slip their clutches by taking a boat. As he keeps watch on the pier one of the policemen encounters a poor ballad singer, Jimmy Walsh.

On the Outside by Tom Murphy and Noel O’Donoghue
On the Outside is Tom Murphy's first play, in which began a lifetime of engagement with the idea of what it was to be Irish and live in 20th century Ireland. Two townies, Joe and Frank, may be short a few bob to get into the country dancehall, but that won’t stop them trying. A satirical comedy about exclusion and trying to overcome social barriers in 1950s Ireland.



  • Venetia Bowe
  • Megan Cusack
  • Peter Daly
  • Tim Doyle (Piper)
  • Dónal Gallery
  • Liam Heslin
  • Garrett Lombard
  • Sarah Morris
  • Marie Mullen
  • Rory Nolan
  • John Olohan
  • Marty Rea


  • Director Garry Hynes
  • Set & Costume Design Francis O'Connor
  • Movement Director David Bolger
  • Music Conor Linehan
  • Costume Design (On the Outside) Clíodhna Hallissey
  • Assistant Director Sarah Baxter

Production Team

  • Production Manager Barry O'Brien
  • Company Manager Jean Hally
  • Stage Managers Sophie Flynn
  • Dylan Farrell
  • Production Runner Rachel Stout
  • Costume Supervisor Clíodhna Hallissey
  • Costume Assistants Jade Gavin Goodfellow
  • Tara Tobin
  • Technical Manager Shannon Light
  • Master Carpenter Gus Dewar
  • Carpenter Pete Nelson
  • Technicians Susan Collins
  • Richard Curwood
  • Mike Byrne
  • Ronan Gallagher
  • Keith Newman
  • Production Sound Mike Nestor
  • Scenic Artist Rachel Towey
  • Props Matt Guinnane
  • Area Management Frank Commins
  • Darragh Commins
  • Front of House Jill Murray
  • Emma O'Flaherty
  • Ciara Commins
  • Cathal Commins
  • Currach Rowers Alex Fernie
  • Darach Ó Ruairc
  • Education & Community Coordinator Jill Murray
  • Education Assistant Claire Mullane
  • Production Photography Matthew Thompson
  • Graphic Design Gareth Jones
  • Video Dave Brandt
  • PR Bowe Communications