Set & Costume Designer

Molly O’Cathain

Selected credits

  • The Magic FluteSofia National Opera, Bulgaria
  • HOTHOUSEMalaprop/ Project Arts Centre
  • An OctoroonAbbey Theatre, Dublin
  • The Wrens Riverbank Arts Centre
  • Absent The WrongAbbey Theatre/ Dublin Fringe Festival 22
  • ConstellationsThe Gate Theatre, Dublin
  • BajazetLinbury ROH/Irish National Opera
  • BlackCatfishMuskateerMalaprop Theatre/Ireland & UK


Molly is a Set and Costume Designer based between London and Dublin working across theatre, dance, opera and various other art forms.  She is a founding member and Company Designer for award-winning Malaprop Theatre.

Her designs include HOTHOUSE (Malaprop/ Project Arts Centre), The Wrens by Dan Colley (River Bank Arts Centre), The Realistic Joneses (Smock Alley/ Laguna Playhouse, California), Absent The Wrong (Set Design/Abbey Theatre/ Dublin Fringe Festival), Constellations (Gate Theatre), Bajazet (Irish National Opera / Royal Opera House/ Best Opera Production Olivier Award nomination),  An Octoroon (Costume Design/Abbey Theatre), It Was Easy (in the end) (Abbey /THEATREclub) and Ask Too Much of Me (Abbey/ NYT), Minseach  (Sibeal Davitt Dance), The Playboy of The Western World (Dublin Theatre Festival/The Gaiety Theatre/The Lyric Belfast), The Enemy Within (An Grianan Theatre), To the Lighthouse (The Everyman), Haunted/ If These Wigs Could Talk and Shit (ThisIsPopBaby), Where Sat the Lovers, Everything Not Saved, Jericho, BlackCatfishMusketeer and LOVE+. (Malaprop).

Featured work


Project Arts Centre/ Dublin Fringe Festival
Written by Carys D. Coburn with MALAPROP
Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Set & Costume Design by Molly O'Cathain
Composition, Musical Direction and Sound by Anna Clock
Lighting Design by John Gunning

Winner of Best Production and Best Design Ensemble, Dublin Fringe Festival 2023



The Wrens

Riverbank Arts Centre
Written & Directed by Dan Colley
Set and Costume Design by Molly O'Cathain
Sound Design by Alma Kelliher
Lighting Design by Suzie Cummin

A new piece from Dan Colley (A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Lost Lear). Co-commissioned by Draiocht and co-produced by Riverbank Arts Centre, supported both by Fishamble’s New Play Clinic and The Ark; funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Absent The Wrong

Abbey Theatre/ Dublin Fringe Festival/ One Off Productions
Written by: Carys D. Coburn
Directed by: Veronica Coburn
Directing Associate: Claire O'Reilly
Set Design: Molly O'Cathain
Costume Design: Pai Rathaya
Lighting Design: Suzie Cummins

Winner of Best Production, Dublin Fringe Festival 2022

“its poetry proves far more powerful, and its people more powerful still” The Arts Review ****


Haunted & If These Wigs Could Talk

By Tara Flynn and Panti Bliss
Directed by Phillip McMahon
Set and Costume Design (Haunted): Molly O’Cathain
Set Design (These Wigs Could Talk): Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Design: Sinéad McKenna

“Designer Molly O’Cathain takes the marble image as her cue and, together with lighting designer Sinéad McKenna, does lovely things with spherical shapes.” Irish Independent

‘The simple but effective set design by Molly O’Cathain…transport(s) the audience to all the different corners of her mind.’ 
The Reviews Hub


The Gate, Dublin
Directed by: Marc Atkinson Borrull
Set and Costume Design: Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Design: Paul Keogan
Sound Design: Kevin Gleeson
Movement Director: Liz Roche
Photographs: Ros Kavanagh

“Beneath a canopy of chandeliers the couple’s image is reflected in designer Molly O’Cathain’s mirrored surfaces and ceiling, with snapping shifts in time and place.” ★★★★ The Guardian

An Octoroon

Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike
Set Designer: Sabine Dargent
Costume Designer: Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Designer: Stephen Dodd
Photo: Ros Kavanagh

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ radical reboot of Irish playwright, Dion Boucicault’s notorious 1859 play The Octoroon became “this decade’s most eloquent statement on race in America today.” The New York Times


Irish National Opera, Linbury ROH
Music by Vivaldi
Conducted by Peter Whelan
Directed by Adele Thomas
Set & Costume Designer: Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Designer: Sinéad Wallace

Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Opera, Olivier Awards 2022

” Sometimes golden, sometimes bare and bleak, (the set) is always a prison for warriors whose lives are lived in action not confinement.” Irish National News

Three Sisters

The Lir Academy, Dublin
A new version by Cordelia Lynn
Director: Marc Atkinson Borrull
Set: Molly O’Cathain
Lighting: John Gunning
Costume: Laura Fajardo Castro
Sound: Lara Gallagher

Directed by Marc Atkinson Borrull, this enduring Chekhov classic is given a contemporary life in a new translation by Cordelia Lynn.

This version is a timeless examination of wistful nostalgia and the purpose of existence amidst incredible political and cultural change, with a delicate twist of humour.

Playboy of the Western World

Lyric Belfast, Gaeity Theatre, Dublin
Written by John Millington Synge
Set & Costume Design: Molly O'Cathain
Lighting: Amy Mae
Composer: Jane Deasy
Movement: Paula O'Reilly

“Molly O’Cathain’s evocative set, a shabby shebeen in need of more than a lick of paint, becomes a last-chance saloon in which all-and-sundry ricochet off its walls and floors with diminishing returns.” British Theatre Guide

Ask Too Much of Me

Written by Dylan Coburn Gray
Lyric Belfast/Gaeity Theatre, Dublin
Director: Veronica Coburn
Set & Costume Design:
Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
Composer & Sound Design:
Sinéad Diskin
Sibéal Davitt & Olwyn Lyons


Malaprop Theatre
Written by Dylan Coburn Gray
Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Lighting Design by John Gunning
Sound Design by Brian Fallon

“Malaprop’s deeply layered meta-theatricality dances a step ahead of the audience, teasing and probing” ★★★★ The Guardian

“This is very intelligent and very neatly put together theatre. It knows exactly what it is doing, and it does it with an aesthetic swagger and style that can sometimes be lacking on the fringe” — Lynn Gardner, ★★★★ The Independent


Body & Soul 2019
Campaign Co-Directed by Kevin Freeny and Richard Seabrook
Photographs by Shantanu Starick
Make up by Paula McGylnn

Costumes designed, made and styled for Body and Soul 2019, working with Algorithm and Tenth Man. Made with amazing help from killer sewing/gluing team Sorcha Flynn, Julia Ritcher and Natasha Bertram.

The Ash Fire

by Gavin Kostick
The Lir Studio
Directed by: Maisie Lee
Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Sheils
Photo: Kevin Dixon



Everything Not Saved

Malaprop Theatre/Project Arts Centre
Devised by the company with Dylan Coburn Gray
Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Lighting Design by John Gunning

Malaprop’s deeply layered meta-theatricality dances a step ahead of the audience, teasing and probing
★★★★ The Guardian

It Was Easy (in the end)

THEATREclub / Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Written by Grace Dyas
Directed by Doireann Coady
Lighting Design: Eoin Winning

For more information or to check availability

0207 2871441