Disappearing Islands


Inspired by north Mayo’s stunning landscape and its deep connection with sea, this new theatrical show was performed in the stunning surrounds of Belmullet’s tidal pool in County Mayo from 16 – 19 September 2022.
Disappearing Islands was a unique theatrical experience. Staged around a tidal swimming pool that overlooks the beautiful vista of Blacksod Bay, the performance blended theatre, dance and song to magical effect.
With one foot in the waters of the Atlantic, Disappearing Islands explored the deep influence of the sea on this coastal community, from times past to the present day. Here, the ocean is a powerful life-giving force but one that is also associated with tragedy. Through a series of songs and dance choreographies, the play explored our contrasting emotions associated with the sea. In doing so, it touched on themes of environmental and personal loss and ultimately asks if the sea can save us from ourselves.
Contemporary dancers, a mezzo-soprano and acapella male vocalists created a show filled with heart, hope and humour.
Disappearing Islands was an immersive experience in every sense. The audience were invited to take a communal dip in the tidal pool for the show’s finale – a moment that reflects the sea’s ability to bring people together.
During their research for Disappearing Islands, the artistic team discovered unexpected inspirations and new connections. They spoke to fishermen, historians, lighthouse keepers, environmentalists and sea swimmers. This research brings an often playful texture to the piece, which takes the audience on a journey across the globe, from the D-Day beaches of Normandy, to the mythical island of Hy Brasil.
Composed by Ellen Cranitch, Written by Tom Swift, Directed by Jo Mangan
Produced by Once Off Productions
Featuring: Naomi Louisa O’ Connell, Mezzo Soprano from Co. Clare, Isabella Oberlander, Limerick based Dancer, Sarah Ryan, Dublin based Dancer, and CODA, Westport based 7 piece Male Vocal Group,
Funded by the Arts Council. Supported by Mayo County Council & Creative Ireland Mayo.