David Greig (dramatist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

David Greig (born 1969) is a Scottish playwright and theatre director. His work has been performed at all of the major theatres in Britain, including the Traverse Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and been produced around the world.

Early life[edit]

Greig was born in Edinburgh in 1969 and was brought up in Nigeria.[1] Returning to Edinburgh in his teens, he then studied English and Drama at Bristol University.


After university, in 1990 he co-founded Suspect Culture Theatre Company with Graham Eatough and Nick Powell in Glasgow; he would go on to write the texts for almost all of their shows until 2004, including Timeless (1997), Mainstream (1999), Candide 2000 (2000), Casanova (2001), Lament (2002), and 8000m (2004).

His stand-alone plays, from Stalinland (1992) began to be picked up by major theatres; the Traverse produced Europe (1995), The Architect (1996, made into a film of the same title in 2006), Outlying Islands (2002), Damascus (2007) and Midsummer (a play with songs by Gordon McIntyre, 2008). Paines Plough produced The Cosmonaut's Last Message To The Woman He Once Loved In The Former Soviet Union (1999) and Pyrenees (2005). The RSC commissioned and produced Victoria (2000) and The American Pilot (2005). His sequel to Macbeth, Dunsinane (2010) was premiered at the Hampstead Theatre by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Speculator (1999) and San Diego (2003) were commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival. When the National Theatre of Scotland was formed in 2006, Greig served as its first Dramaturg and also wrote an adaptation of Euripides' The Bacchae for them.

Greig produced around 50 plays, texts, adaptations, translations and libretti in the first two decades of his career. Dr Korczak's Example (2004) is a play for young people and Danny 306 + Me 4 Ever (1999) is for puppets. He has produced adaptations of Tintin in Tibet (2005) for the Barbican, London and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013) for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (2011) for the National Theatre of Scotland was designed to be toured to and performed in pubs. He has provided English-language versions of foreign plays, including Camus's Caligula (2003), and Strindberg's Creditors (2008). In 2013 he wrote The Events, in which different local choirs perform the musical numbers every night.


Despite the richness and variety of Greig's work, some persistent concerns and motifs are visible. A yearning for connection between characters, despite enormous personal, social, cultural and political distances between them; international and global links, represented through travel, desire, fantasies of other cultures; great value placed on imagination, creativity, wonder.

Personal life[edit]

Greig lives in Fife, Scotland, with his wife and two children. Greig has increasingly emerged as a significant political commentator in contemporary Scotland, intervening importantly in the debates over Creative Scotland in 2012 and proving an advocate of Scottish independence in the run-up to the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.


  1. ^ Dickson, Andrew (24 January 2015). "How playwright David Greig discovered Birnam Wood in Basra". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 

External links[edit]