The Last Return

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, Aidan Moriarty, Rebecca O'Mara and Naima Swaleh.

Druid’s world premiere production of The Last Return opened at Galway International Arts Festival 2022 and then played Edinburgh Festival Fringe (where it won a Fringe First Award) and Dublin Theatre Festival at the Gate Theatre. In spring 2023, The Last Return embarks on an 8-venue tour of Ireland.

Show Programme

Explore an archive copy of the show programme for the 2023 national tour.


Winner - Scotsman Fringe First Award 2022

Winner - Best Ensemble, Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2022

Winner - Best Supporting Actress, Anna Healy, Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 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 was supported by Culture Ireland.

Show Trailer

Production Images

Audience Reviews

Rehearsal Video

Rehearsal Images


Cast - National Tour 2023

  • Ticket Person Anna Healy
  • Newspaper Man Bosco Hogan
  • Military Man Aidan Moriarty
  • Umbrella Woman Rebecca O'Mara
  • Woman in Pink Naima Swaleh

Cast - Dublin 2022

  • Ticket Person Anna Healy
  • Newspaper Man Bosco Hogan
  • Military Man Fionn Ó Loingsigh
  • Umbrella Woman Rebecca O'Mara
  • Woman in Pink Naima Swaleh

Cast - Galway & Edinburgh 2022

  • Umbrella Woman Fiona Bell
  • Ticket Person Anna Healy
  • Newspaper Man Bosco Hogan
  • Military Man Fionn Ó Loingsigh
  • 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