The Last Return

★★★★★ The Times
★★★★★ What's On Stage
★★★★★ The Arts Desk
★★★★★ The Wee Review
★★★★★ Feeling Good
★★★★★ Mickey Jo Theatre

Not all good things come to those who wait.

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?

A new play by acclaimed playwright Sonya Kelly (Once Upon a Bridge, Furniture), The Last Return is a thrilling comedy about conflict, peace and the pursuit of territory at any cost.

Sara Joyce (Once Upon a Bridge) directs a cast of Anna Healy, Bosco Hogan, Fionn Ó Loingsigh, Rebecca O'Mara and Naima Swaleh.

Druid’s world premiere production of The Last Return will open at Galway International Arts Festival this summer before touring to Traverse Theatre for Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then to Dublin's Gate Theatre for Dublin Theatre Festival.


13 October - 5 November 2022
Gate Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival


Winner - Scotsman Fringe First Award 2022

Finalist - The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2022


★★★★★ 'a true work of genius'
The Times

★★★★★ 'astonishingly original'
What's On Stage

★★★★★ 'blisteringly funny'
The Arts Desk

★★★★★ 'a spectacular piece of theatre'
The Wee Review

★★★★★ 'astonishing dark comedy'
Feeling Good

★★★★★ 'a compelling piece of theatre'
Mickey Jo Theatre

★★★★ 'pitch black comic mayhem'
The Guardian

★★★★ 'a shocking and very funny play'
The Irish Times

★★★★ 'elegant and powerful ... beautifully delivered'
The Scotsman

★★★★ 'a scathing satire'
Fest Mag

★★★★ 'remarkably clever'
The Reviews Hub

★★★★ 'hilarious, thought-provoking'
The Arts Review

★★★★ 'racks up the tension and laughs superbly'
British Theatre

'Hottest ticket in town ... hilarious'
Sunday Independent

'wonderful ... unexpectedly touching'
The New York Times

'Sonya Kelly establishes herself as a major Irish playwright'
Irish Independent

'may well be both the funniest and most politically devastating play on the Fringe this year'
The National

'exquisitely crafted ... a masterclass in modern drama'
Sunday Mail

'shocking and side-splitting'
Business Post

'a masterclass in characterisation and comedic timing'

'a very smart play which makes you laugh and wince in equal measure'
Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

'Kelly has re-imagined Ionesco for the post-colonial era'
My Theatre Mates

'mad and caustically brilliant'
Connacht Tribune

Show Information

Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes (no interval)

Content warning: Please note that this production contains adult themes, strong language, strobe lighting and depictions of violence to others

Join the conversation: #TheLastReturn

Druid is core funded by the Arts Council. The Last Return at Edinburgh Festival Fringe is supported by Culture Ireland.

Accessible Performances

Irish Sign Language
Saturday 15 October, 7.30pm, Gate Theatre, Dublin
This performance will feature ISL interpretation by Amanda Coogan
To book ISL tickets, please email

Post-Show Discussion

Monday 17 October
Róisín McBrinn (Artistic Director, Gate Theatre) will host a discussion with playwright Sonya Kelly and members of the cast of The Last Return.

Show Trailer

Production Images

Rehearsal Video

Rehearsal Images

Images and videos feature the Galway & Edinburgh company of The Last Return, including Fiona Bell as Umbrella Woman.



  • Military Man Fionn Ó Loingsigh
  • Newspaper Man Bosco Hogan
  • Ticket Person Anna Healy
  • Umbrella Woman (Dublin) Rebecca O'Mara
  • Umbrella Woman (Galway & Edinburgh) Fiona Bell
  • Woman in Pink Naima Swaleh

Creative Team

  • Writer Sonya Kelly
  • Director Sara Joyce
  • Set and Costume Design Francis O'Connor
  • Lighting Design Amy Mae
  • Sound Design and Composition Michael John McCarthy
  • Movement Jessica and Megan Kennedy (Junk Ensemble)
  • Dramatherapy Wabriya King
  • Hair and Make-Up Gráinne Coughlan
  • Associate Costume Designer Clíodhna Hallissey
  • Assistant Director Katie O’Halloran