The Asylum Workshop

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The Asylum Workshop

The Asylum Workshop, Fragments from the archive of the institution once known as the “Lunatic Asylum”.

By TU Dublin Conservatoire

When and where

Date and time

Wed, 14 Jun 2023 19:30 - 22:00 IST


TU Dublin, East Quad Grangegorman Lower D07 XFF2 Dublin 7 Ireland

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

About this event

  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

TU Dublin Conservatoire presents

The Asylum Workshop

Fragments from the archive of the institution once known as the “Lunatic Asylum”, Grangegorman

A documentary drama by Colin Murphy

With the final-year Drama students of the TU Dublin Conservatoire

Directed by Peter McDermott

Supported by Grangegorman Histories


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.


Wed 14th June to Sat 17th June, 7.30pm and Sat matinee 17th June, 2pm

Tues 20th June to Sat 24th June, 7.30pm and Sat matinee 24th June, 2pm

Tickets €20.00 Full and €15.00 Concession (Students/OAPS).

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

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.

About the organiser

TU Dublin Conservatoire is a conservatoire centre of excellence for education in the performing arts.