Where sat the lovers – Do you know the right things?

Imagine you’re scared for your adult sibling. They’re on the brink and you want to keep them safe. You think they’re mentally ill but they think they’re just left wing.

To make the right choices together you’ll need to know the right things. The big question: how do you know if you know the right things?

Where Sat The Lovers is about codes, hallucinations, Isaac Newton, seeing meaning where there’s none and vice versa. It’s about facing an overwhelming world and trying to make sense of it all.

Originally slated for Carlow Arts Festival and Cork Midsummer festival(and adapted into a show-via-WhatsApp for those summer festivals), Where Sat the Lovers sees vibrant Irish theatre company MALAPROP return to the stage for their first live show in 12 months.

At its heart, Where Sat The Lovers is about two adult siblings who have no other family to look out for them. One of them has been diagnosed as schizophrenic – schizoaffective, if you want to be precise – but feels like that’s a bad fit for what they experience. The other wishes her sibling would just try the meds to see if they worked. Both of them wish they didn’t live in a one bedroom apartment in Belfast. (Before you ask, they take turns.) Both just want to feel safe, secure, but those words mean totally different things for each. For the ‘well’ one who worries all the time, safety is the bunker where the world can’t touch her. For the ‘sick’ one who quite likes their life, safety is the laboratory where you take the world apart – you have to understand threats in order to see them coming and ward them off, after all.

The core of the play is family, love, care, but it also leaps into the surreal in order to explore the big scary world these characters occupy and are compelled to unpick. Isaac Newton appears to give us a lesson – through song – in physics, alchemy, medicine, institutions, institutionalisation, policing, empire, capital H History. That sounds like a lot, because it is – if you have to understand literally everything before you can feel safe, there’s a lot of bizarre, baroque, bleak everything to make sense of.

Where Sat the Lovers is directed by Claire O’Reilly (RTÉ, National Theatre London) and written by Dylan Coburn Gray (Irish Times Theatre Award nominee for Citysong) with MALAPROP.

Cast includes BláithínMacGabhann (Our New Girl The Gate Theatre, Citysong The Abbey Theatre, The Seagull, Druid Theatre), Juliette Crosbie (The Abbey Theatre, Rough Magic), Wren Dennehy (aka. Avoca Reaction), Maeve O’Mahony (Collapsing Horse, Sugarglass Theatre, MALAPROP’s LOVE+, JERICHO, Everything Not Saved, Before You Say Anything). Set and costume design are by Molly O’Cathain (Gaiety Theatre, Abbey Theatre, Peacock Theatre), lighting design is by John Gunning and sound design is by Jenny O’Malley and Leon Henry.


MALAPROP is an award-winning Dublin-based theatre collective that aims to challenge, delight, and speak to the world we live in (even when imagining different ones). Previous work includes: Before You Say Anything (2020), LOVE+ (Spirit of Fringe Award at Dublin Fringe 2015), BlackCatfishMusketeer (2016), JERICHO, and Everything Not Saved (Best Production Nominee and winner of the inaugural Georganne Aldrich Heller Award, Dublin Fringe 2017. Later adapted for screen with a 2018 RTÉ Storyland commission). The world premiere of HOTHOUSE was slated for THISISPOPBABY’s Where We Live Festival in March 2020 and was postponed due to Covid-19.

MALAPROP has toured work to the UK, France, Beijing, Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.

Where Sat the Lovers was developed with the support of the Arts Council, Carlow Arts Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival & Project Arts Centre. MALAPROP are Project Artists and are supported by field:arts, and by Dublin City Council through the Incubation Space programme.

Ticket capacity is limited and all audience seating will be in socially distanced pods of 1-4 people.

Where Sat the Lovers at Dublin Fringe Festival 2021
Project Arts Centre
Performances: 22-25 September, 18:30. 24 & 25 Sept,13:00

Tickets €12-16 | Booking: www.fringefest.com


Cast and Creative Team

Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Written by Dylan Coburn Gray with MALAPROP
Cast: Juliette Crosbie, BláithínMacGabhann, Maeve O’Mahony, Wren Dennehy
Set & Costume Design: Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Design: John Gunning

Sound Design: Jenny O’Malley & Leon Henry



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