Once Off Productions present

Absent the Wrong

10 - 24 September 2022

by Dylan Coburn Gray

part of Dublin Fringe Festival

Booking Information

Dates: 10 – 24 September
on the Peacock stage

Previews: 10 & 12 September, 7pm

Times: 13 – 17 September & 19 – 24 September, 7pm

Matinee: 17 September, 1pm

Tickets: Previews €12 / Other performances €16/€14 Conc.

Post-show discussion: 15 September

Sign language interpreted performance: Wednesday 21 September, 7:00pm

It's about Ireland, Irishness, about a century of destroying families in the name of The Family.

A woman looking for her child is lied to. An artist pitches a memorial that’s never built. A landlord raises rents. A parrot disappears. (Or does it?) Thousands of children disappear. (No question this time.) There’s family reunions, collective actions, inexplicable Mormons.

Both intimate and sweeping, raw and heady, Absent the Wrong is about 70 years of adoptees looking for answers. It’s about being the only person in the family photo who isn’t white and not daring to ask why, about having multiple heritages but knowing nothing about any of them. (So are they really heritages? Can you inherit loss?)

It’s about Ireland, Irishness, about a century of destroying families in the name of The Family. It’s about wondering, searching, loving, losing, fighting, losing some more, and sometimes finally winning when all seems lost.

Written by Dylan Coburn Gray, winner of the Verity Bargate Award for Citysong, this is a play which marries formal playfulness to serious purposes. Developed with performers throughout 2021, Absent the Wrong is conceived partly as a time-capsule of the response to the publication of the Mother and Baby Homes Report. The hurt, the anger, the struggle for straight answers.

But it’s not just straightforward reportage or documentary – leave that to reporters and documentarians. It’s an artistic meditation on memory, on archives, on history – on what the official record doesn’t show, has never shown, can’t show. It’s about gaps, generational and informational – how natural it is to want to bridge them, how hard it is to do.


Please note
This show discusses various forms of institutional violence frankly, but does not depict them graphically. It does so with regard to both Mother and Baby Homes and industrial schools. More specifically, audiences should expect the following: reference to mental health/depression, the theme of child bereavement, mention of physical and sexual violence.

Post-show discussion 

Date: Thursday 15 September

“What Is And What Could Be” – Adoption, History and the Search for Identity

A discussion in response to Absent the Wrong that asks how we cope with gaps in the historical record. Whether that’s as individuals without access to vital information about our own lives, or as the nation of Ireland trying to come to terms with an institutional history that has yet to be fully told – what do we do, what can we do, and what should we do?

The post-show discussion is free-of-charge, after the performance on Thursday 15th September. It’s facilitated by Dr Emily Mark-Fitzgerald (UCD) and will include discussion with writer Dylan Coburn Gray and performers Noelle Brown and Kwaku Fortune.

Funded by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon, produced by Once Off Productions. Developed at FRINGE LAB.

Digital Programme 

Please find the digital programme available here.


  • Performed by: Jolly Abraham
  • Performed by: Curtis-Lee Ashqar
  • Performed by: Sheik Bah
  • Performed by: Noelle Brown
  • Performed by: Caoimhe Coburn Gray
  • Performed by: Kwaku Fortune
  • Performed by: Colleen Keogh
  • Performed by: Sophie Lenglinger
  • Performed by: Leah Minto
  • Performed by: Emmanuel Okoye

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