About Asylum

Asylum is a collaborative affiliation of theatre artists, based in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, dedicated to the development and presentation of new work: through both new writing and the development of new forms of theatre. Our work always has a social dimension: exploring the human experience in contemporary society through diverse forms of story-telling, often in collaboration with the communities that we serve. Since our foundation in 1998, we have presented a number of critically acclaimed productions of new and contemporary works, touring nationally and internationally.

Donal Gallagher

As co-founder and co-director of Asylum, Donal works extensively in the development and presentation of new Irish writing and in the pioneering of new forms of theatre. 

He recently co-adapted and directed The Big Chapel X – a promenade, participative re-imagining of Thomas Kilroy’s Booker nominated novel, using an entire town as it’s stage, in association with Kilkenny Arts Festival supported by the Abbey Theatre – nominated for 4 Irish Theatre Awards 2019, inc. Best Production.

Freelance Work As a freelance theatre maker Donal co-devised and directed; the award winning puppet circus Circu Islu for McBride & Sons, Catalonia; the 5 star hit show Love All for Cheery Wild/Ten42 – National tour and Edinburgh Fringe (“currently the funniest, smartest and most entertaining show on stage” Peter Crawley, Irish Times); and The Chancy Brothers – a street show with giant puppets for Bui Bolg, which has toured through Europe and China. Inclusive theatre work includes; directing and performing in The Water Boys for Equinox Theatre Company and the creation of Cork Deaf ensemble Spirit Of Sign’. 

International directing work includes The Miracle for T.J.G, Dresden, (2 years in Rep), and the world premier of Chatroom by Enda Walsh at the National Theatre, London “…a chilling and powerful tale… staged with enormous aplomb…the best possible advertisement for theatre…” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

He recently directed the sell-out run of What I (Don’t) Know About Autism by Jody O’Neil for the Abbey Theatre 2020 programme.

Medb Lambert 

is a theatre artist based in Co. Kilkenny, with extensive experience as a director, producer and designer. 

As Co-Artistic Director of Asylum, her work has been presented nationally and internationally, including The Big Chapel X (with Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Abbey Theatre), which she co-adapted and designed.

She also produced an international tour for the award winning Circo Islu by Catalan based company McBride and Sons.

Medb is a founder of Equinox Theatre Company and was Artistic Coordinator from 2008 – 2021 at KCAT Arts Centre in Callan, at the forefront of international best practice in Inclusive Arts. For 2022 she is the recipient of an Arts Council of Ireland bursary award to conduct an audit of attitudes in Irish theatre around inclusion, equality and diversity.

Recent producing and directing credits for the company include The M House at the Lyric in Belfast, and The Dublin Theatre Festival (the first Irish inclusive theatre company to be presented at the festival).

She is also a board member of The Watergate Theatre since 2019.

Asylum was co founded in 1998 by Donal Gallagher and Gerrie O’Grady.

Our first production, a two-hander adaptation of Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna, directed by Ali Robertson, toured extensively in Ireland, before playing Edinburgh Fringe Festival to much critical and popular acclaim. We were subsequently invited to perform at the Theaterszene Europa Festival, Cologne, and were the first ever Irish company to be invited to the San Francisco International Absurdist Festival.