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The Asylum Workshop - a documentary drama


Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 19:30 - Saturday, June 24, 2023, 22:00


TU Dublin Black Box Theatre East Quad, Grangegorman Lower, Dublin 7


€20 full price /
€15 concession (students/OAPS).

Final-year drama students of TU Dublin perform in this new documentary play by Colin Murphy about the history of the Grangegorman mental hospital in Dublin’s north inner city.

About the play

Why did Ireland historically have a hugely disproportionate number of institutionalised psychiatric patients compared to other countries globally? How do we confront a difficult past that took place all around us as we try to forge a new future?

The Asylum Workshop is a new documentary play by playwright Colin Murphy (The Treaty, A Day in May, Inside the GPO, Bailed Out!) about the history of the Grangegorman mental hospital in Dublin’s north inner city. Grangegorman is now home to the beautiful, open campus of the new Technological University Dublin. Yet, for nearly 200 years, it was a formidable institution behind stone walls: an aspirational place of asylum and the treatment of mental illness, but also a place of medical mistreatment and traumatic incarceration.

Drawing on unique access to the hospital archives, The Asylum Workshop weaves together verbatim letters and testaments from patients and families, reports from doctors and nurses, and expert analysis from historians and psychiatrists. Murphy frames these materials as questions about the relationship between the hospital and Irish society’s values and priorities in the 20th century. Written for the current final-year students of the B.A. (Hons) in Drama (Performance) at TU Dublin Conservatoire, the play also juxtaposes the site’s complicated past as a hospital treating mental illness and its present incarnation as a university pursuing knowledge.

Don’t miss this special event by Ireland’s foremost writer of documentary theatre, Colin Murphy.


Dates: Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 June, 7.30pm, and Sat matinee 17 June, 2pm. Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 June, 7.30pm, and Saturday matinee 24 June, 2pm.
Tickets: €20.00 Full and €15.00 Concession (Students/OAPS).
Venue: TU Dublin Black Box Theatre East Quad, Grangegorman Lower, Dublin 7


Written by Colin Murphy
Directed by Peter McDermott
With the final-year Drama students of the TU Dublin Conservatoire
Supported by Grangegorman Histories

Grangegorman Histories is a public history project of Dublin City Council, Grangegorman Development Agency, Health Service Executive, Local Communities, National Archives, Royal Irish Academy and TU Dublin.

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