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The Aeneid

Show:    'The Aeneid' adapted by Dan Colley

Venue:   Smock Alley Theatre 1662

Run:       14th - 24th Sept 2016

Role:      Set & Lighting Designer


Collapsing Horse bring The Aeneid to life with their own brand of wit, imagination and indelible theatre magic. 

This ancient Latin epic tells the story of the people who fled a burning Troy to create the city of Rome. It’s not a bad story…for a piece of propaganda. 

Within it lies the foundation myth of the Roman people from which they derived their identity, and the Emperor Augustus established his divine authority.

Director - Dan Colley

Set & Lighting - Hanna Bowe

Costume - Katie Davenport

Sound Composition - Tom Lane / Dan Forde
Dramaturg - Dylan Coburn Gray


Images provided by Ste Murray (


16 Sep 2016

No More Work Horse

Collapsing Horse as one of its signatures incorporates puppets and cut-outs of various types into its productions. Here the great Trojan horse is represented by a small origami horse. The boat, on which the oceans are sailed, is little bigger than a hand. The Sibyll appears as a white face mask held aloft with long, translucent, straggling locks. In another vein, the ocean when referred to in a song takes the form of a blue gossamer light material which is flicked on cue so it billows in all its ephemeral lightness. The set consists of a collection of rectangular blocks which are constantly being reconfigured with consummate skill by the actors to create different tableaux. These are but a few examples of the visual adroitness of Collapsing Horse which are a constant pleasure to observe.

17 Sep 2016


The beautiful use of simple effects like fluttering fabric, hand torches and gorgeous puppetry sets off the kind of ensemble acting which appears effortless because it is very well rehearsed. Each Rhapsode’s individuality is clear in all their characters, but never jars the scene; the structure of the Rhapsodes’ relationships allows them to play with and against each other moment to moment. Echoes of Greek choral styles, devised theatre, Commedia del Arte and mystery plays turn every costume and chunk of set into many different objects and signifiers, which can make the production muddy if not used with delicacy. 

24 Sep 2016


The mise-en-scène in general is evocative and on-brand. Collapsing Horse’s aesthetic is simple and effective, but never cheap-looking. The puppetry for which they are famous takes on a smaller role here than perhaps expected, but it works where it is used. Origami represents Aeneus’ ship and the Trojan Horse; The Sibyl and the guardians of the underworld are masks with streams held aloft. The red tunics worn by the cast are incredibly versatile (Katie Davenport), so too are the blocks moved by the cast to alter the scene (Hanna Bowe).

15 Sep 2016

The Irish Times

Maeve O’Mahony’s Aeneas is modest for a demigod, which fits the prevailing tone, where heroism comes with charming diffidence and vast adventures are summoned through modest, make-and-do means. There are gods in drifts of fabric; sacrificial animals and wooden horses in miniature; paper cascades and relentlessly folksy music flows; puppets, puppets everywhere.

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