Set & Costume Designer

Molly O’Cathain

Selected credits

  • ConstellationsThe Gate
  • An OctoroonAbbey Theatre
  • BazajetThe Linbury/Irish National Opera
  • Three SistersThe Lir Academy, Dublin
  • Playboy of the Western WorldLyric Belfast/Gaeity Theatre, Dublin
  • Ask Too Much of Me Dublin Youth Theatre/Peacock Theatre
  • BlackCatfishMuskateerMalaprop Theatre/Ireland & UK


Molly is a Set and Costume Designer based between London and Dublin. She is currently Resident Assistant Designer at the National Theatre and is Set Design Associate for The Ocean at the End of the Lane in the Dorfman Theatre. She has a first class honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin and participated in the prestigious Rough Magic SEEDs Artist Development program.  She is a founding member and Company Designer for award-winning Malaprop Theatre.

Molly has worked with numerous acclaimed directors, including Oonagh Murphy, Veronica Coburn, Ronan Phelan, Maisie Lee, Olwen Fouéré, Emma Martin, Zoe Ni Riordain, Louis Lovett, Janet Moran, Claire O’Reilly and Doireann Coady. She assisted Chloe Lamford on the Royal Court’s production of Road directed by John Tiffany.


Featured work


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

” 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