The Death of a Muse

Irish Poet W.B. Yeats was a romantic mystic with a temper that could not be held. But more than that, he was irrevocably in love with Maud Gonne. The suffragette was an activist first and mother second, with more than a few skeletons in her closet. Centuries after they have departed from the mortal realm, The Death of a Muse takes a look back at the lives and loves of the pair, along with Maud’s fraught relationship with her daughter Iseult and her abusive marriage with Irish soldier John MacBride. All the world is watching as the two throw stones and try to condemn the other to an eternity of suffering. Many proposals, fights and missteps later, it is up to the audience to decide who will go to hell and who will go to heaven -- iron-hearted Maud or self-centred William? 

Performed at Lock 91 in 2019, The Death of a Muse was nominated for Best New Writing, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Drama at the Greater Manchester Fringe 

Creative Team

Written by Róis Doherty

Directed by Xenia Lily

Kerry Ely as Maude Gonne

Patrick O'Donnell as W.B.Yeats

Megan Challinor as Iseult / Fortune Teller

Liam Collins as Major John MacBride


The Death of a Muse combines an irreverent method of storytelling with biographical detail in a highly imaginative manner. Maud Gonne and William Butler Yeats may have been charmless in real life but this is an absolutely charming production.

David Cunningham,  British Theatre Guide

With excellent performances and a very well-written script, plus good direction and set design (including creative use of a well-chosen performance space), The Death of a Muse is a superb piece of Fringe theatre, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hannah Priest, North Manchester FM

Overall this is a well thought out piece of theatre. Well done to BelleVedere Theatre Company who have staged this exciting immersive experience. ★★★★

Caroline Worswick, North West End