29 July 1953 |
Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland
|Occupation||Playwright, poet, translator|
|Notable works||The Factory Girls,
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme,
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me,
Dolly West's Kitchen
Professor Frank McGuinness (born 29 July 1953) is an Irish playwright and poet. As well as his own works, which include The Factory Girls, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and Dolly West's Kitchen, he is recognised for a "strong record of adapting literary classics, having translated the plays of Racine, Sophocles, Ibsen and Strindberg to critical acclaim". Prof. McGuinness has been Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin (UCD) since 2007.
McGuinness was born in Buncrana, a town located on the Inishowen Peninsula of County Donegal, Ireland. He was educated locally and at University College Dublin, where he studied Pure English and medieval studies to postgraduate level.
He first came to prominence with his play The Factory Girls, but established his reputation with his play about World War I, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, which was staged in Dublin's Abbey Theatre and internationally. The play made a name for him when it was performed at Hampstead Theatre, drawing comments about McGuinness's Irish Catholic background. It won numerous awards including the London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright for McGuinness and the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize. He has also written new versions of classic dramas, including works by Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Euripides, adapting the literal translations of others. In addition, he wrote the screenplay for the film Dancing at Lughnasa, adapting the stage play by fellow Irishman (and, indeed, fellow Ulsterman) Brian Friel.
McGuinness's first poetry anthology, Booterstown, was published in 1994. Several of his poems have been recorded by Marianne Faithfull, including Electra, After the Ceasefire and The Wedding.
McGuinness previously lectured in Linguistics and Drama at the University of Ulster, Medieval Studies at University College, Dublin and English at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Then he was a writer-in-residence lecturing at University College Dublin before being appointed Professor of Creative Writing in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin.
Awards and honours
Source for entries 1985-1999: 
- 1985 London Evening Standard "Award for Most Promising Playwright" for Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme
- 1985 Roony Prize for Irish Literature for Observe the Sons..
- 1985 Arts Council Bursary for Observe the Sons..
- 1985 Harvey's Best Play Award for Observe the Sons..
- 1985 Cheltenham Literary Prize for Observe the Sons..
- 1986 London Fringe Awards for Best Play and Best Playwright New to the Fringe for Observe the Sons..
- 1986 Plays and Players Award for Most Promising Playwright for Observe the Sons..
- 1987 Ewart-Biggs Peace Prize for Observe the Sons..
- 1990 Prague International Television Awards for The Hen House (BBC2)
- 1992 New York Film Critics Circle for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
- 1992 Writers' Guild Award for Best Play for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
- 1992 Independent Sunday Best Play of the Year Award for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
- 1992 Oliver Award nomination for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
- 1992 Tony Award nomination for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
- 1992 Ireland Fund Literary Award
- 1996 Tony Award for Best Revival for A Doll's House
- 1997 French Order of Arts and Letters
- 1999 Oliver Award nomination for Best New Play for Dolly West's Kitchen
- 2014 Irish PEN Award
List of works
- The Glass God (Platform Theatre Group, Dublin, 1982)
- The Factory Girls (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1982)
- Borderlands (TEAM Educational Theatre Company, 1984)
- Gatherers (TEAM Educational Theatre Company, 1985)
- Ladybag (Damer Hall, Dublin for Dublin Theatre Festival, 1985)
- Baglady (Abbey, 1985)
- Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Abbey, 1985; Hampstead Theatre, London, 1986)
- Innocence (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1986)
- Times in It (Peacock stage of Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1988: triple bill consisting of 'Feed the Money and Keep Them Coming'; 'Brides of Ladybag' and 'Flesh and Blood')
- Carthaginians (Abbey, 1988; Hampstead, 1989)
- Mary and Lizzie (RSC, 1989)
- The Bread Man (Gate, 1991)
- Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Hampstead, West End and Broadway, 1992)
- The Bird Sanctuary (Abbey, 1993)
- Mutabilitie (RNT, 1997)
- Dolly West's Kitchen (Abbey, 1999)
- Speaking Like Magpies (RSC, The Swan Theatre, Straford-upon-Avon, 2005)
- Gates of Gold (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 2002. UK premiere Finborough Theatre, 2004. West End transfer 2006.)
- There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida Theatre, London, 2007)
- The Holy Moley Jesus Story (Greash Theatre, Dublin, 2008)
- Greta Garbo Came to Donegal (Tricycle Theatre, London, 2010)
- The Match Box (Everyman Playhouse, Liverpool, 2012)
- Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen (RNT, 1987)
- Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen (Gate, 1988; RSC and world tour, 1994)
- Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (Roundabout Theatre, Broadway, 1994)
- A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (Playhouse Theatre, Broadway, 1997)
- Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (Gate and Royal Court, 1990)
- Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov (Field Day Production, 1995)
- Yerma by Federico García Lorca (Abbey, 1987)
- The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht (Gate, 1987)
- The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht (RNT, 1997)
- Electra by Sophocles (Donmar and Broadway)
- The Storm by Alexander Ostrovsky (Almeida)
- Hecuba by Euripides
- Phaedra by Seneca
- Oedipus by Sophocles (Royal National Theatre)
- Helen by Euripides (Shakespeare's Globe, 2008)
- John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen (Abbey Theatre, 2010)
- Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen (London Classic Theatre, 2011)
- Dancing at Lughnasa (adaptation of play by Brian Friel)
- A Short Stay in Switzerland (BBC TV, 2009, based on the true story of Dr Anne Turner)
- Booterstown (Gallery Press, 1994)
- In Loving Memory (Limerick City Gallery of Art, 1989, with photographs by Amelia Stein)
- The Sea with no Ships (Gallery Press, 1999)
- The Stone Jug (Gallery Press, 2003)
- Dulse (Gallery Press, 2007)
- Arimathea (Brandon, 2013)
- "McGuinness named Professor of Creative Writing at UCD". UCD. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Bloomsday Centenary Public Lecture Series". UCD. Retrieved on 3 June 2004.
- "Passion, betrayal and hypocrisy in new version of Ibsen's 'Ghosts' at Town Hall". Galway City Tribune. Retrieved on 13 May 2011.
- Maxwell, Dominic. "Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at Hampstead Theatre, NW3". The Times. Retrieved on 25 June 2009.
- Higgins, Charlotte. "Frank McGuinness: 'I'm not entirely respectable. I couldn't be'". The Guardian. Retrieved on 18 October 2008.
- Helen Lojek (2004). Contexts for Frank McGuinness's Drama. CUA Press. p. xvi. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Rose Doyle (February 13, 2013). "Living here: Playwright and poet Frank McGuinness in Booterstown, Co Dublin". The Irish Times. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- "McGuinness honoured with 2014 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature". University College Dublin. 14 February 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Marlowe, Sam. "Yerma". The Times. Retrieved on 30 August 2006. "The play, in Frank McGuinness's sinewy translation, sets the sacred against the profane, sensuality against repression and duty against instinct".
- McBride, Charlie. "‘Stunning reworking’ of Ibsen’s Ghosts for Town Hall". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved on 5 May 2011.
- Eamonn Jordan The feast of famine: the plays of Frank McGuinness (Bern: Peter Lang, 1997) ISBN 3-906757-71-4
- Helen Lojek (ed.) The theatre of Frank McGuinness: stages of mutability (Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2002) ISBN 1-904505-01-5
- Hiroko Mikami, Frank McGuinness and his Theatre of Paradox (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 2002)
- Kenneth Nally, Celebrating Confusion: The Theatre of Frank McGuinness (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) ISBN 1-4438-0335-9
- Complete Information on all of Frank McGuinness's plays
- Frank McGuinness on the Faber and Faber website
- McGuinness's credits on Broadway
- Publications about, by or mentioning Frank McGuinness
- Frank McGuinness Resource
- Irish Playography listing for McGuinness