Distillation is a response to the recent cessation of the peat harvesting industry in Ireland. Over the past year, Luke Casserly has collaborated with renowned perfume maker Joan Woods to create a unique distillation of the Midlands bog - the place where he grew up - as the starting point for an olfactory encounter which looks at our human relationship to place. Dedicated to the future of our broken landscapes – in the hope that by listening to them, we might be able to better understand them.

Part interactive lecture, part performance, Distillation features original text, video, sound design, and sculpture. The audience are seated around a large custom-made table and are gently invited to hold organic materials and smell parts of the landscape as part of the experience. The perfume featured as part of the project was designed by Joan Woods, who collected and distilled botanicals from the Irish Midlands as part of the creative process. Each audience member is gifted a small sample of the custom-made perfume as part of the performance.

Distillation premiered as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2023. A co-production by Solas Nua & Abbey Theatre, commissioned by Solas Nua in Washington DC. Supported by Goethe-Institut Irland, with additional development support by IMMA, Druid FUEL, Axis Ballymun, and Backstage Theatre. Developed with the support of an Arts Council Theatre Project Award. Generously supported by Culture Ireland.

Seats are extremely limited so advance booking is recommended.                 Purchase your tickets here.


Creator: Luke Casserly
Perfume: Joan Woods
Sculpture: Ger Clancy
Dramaturgy: Rex Daugherty
Costume: Doreen McKenna
Additional Costume: Síofra Caherty
Video: Robert Higgins
Sound: Sam Hardiman
Stage Management: Grace Carter
Artistic Documentation: Fergal Styles
Production Photography: Patricio Cassinoni