Gary Mitchell

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Gary Mitchell
Born (1965-05-03) 3 May 1965 (age 57)
GenrePolitical thriller[1]
Notable worksAs the Beast Sleeps, The Force of Change, In a Little world of Our own

Gary Mitchell (born 3 May 1965) is a Northern Irish playwright. By the 2000s, he had become "one of the most talked about voices in European theatre ... whose political thrillers have arguably made him Northern Ireland's greatest playwright".[1]

From a working-class, loyalist background, Mitchell's first foray into writing was for Radio 4. His first play was produced by Tinderbox but Mitchell's first major theatre success was the production (by Connall Morrison) of his In A Little World of Our Own at the Peacock, a gripping and unflinching portrayal of loyalist culture. It won The Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 1997,[2] and it later went to Belfast as part of an Abbey Theatre tour. The following year the Peacock Theatre produced his As The Beast Sleeps.

He was writer-in-residence at the Royal National Theatre, London in 1999.

His works have also premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre. Force of Change won the Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award (£30,000) for Most Promising Playwright.

He won the prestigious Stewart Parker Award for Independent Voice; other accolades include the George Devine Award.

In November 2005, he was forced out of his home in the Belfast suburb of Rathcoole after it was attacked by loyalist paramilitaries.[1][3] He and his family had to live in hiding somewhere in Northern Ireland which forced Mitchell to put his career on hold for five years.[4]

He has gone on to win the Aisling Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Culture.


  • Smiley (2016) Lyric Theatre, Belfast
  • Demented (2014) Lyric Theatre, Belfast
  • Forget Turkey (We liked it so much we're going to Phuket again) (2013) with Dan Gordon and Colin Murphy, Lyric Theatre, Belfast
  • Re-energize (2013) Playhouse, Londonderry
  • Forget Turkey (We're going to Phuket this Christmas) (2012) with Dan Gordon and Colin Murphy, Lyric Theatre, Belfast
  • Love Matters (2012) Aisling Ghear, Belfast
  • Suicide Blonde (2010) Old Red Lion, London
  • Remnants of Fear (2005) Dubbeljoint, Belfast
  • Loyal Women (2003) Royal Court Downstairs, London
  • The Force of Change (2000) Royal Court Upstairs/Downstairs, London
  • Marching On (2000) Lyric, Belfast
  • Holding Cell (2000) Tinderbox, Belfast
  • Energy (1999) Playhouse, Londonderry
  • Trust (1999) Royal Court Upstairs, London
  • Tearing the Loom (1998) Lyric, Belfast
  • As the Beast Sleeps (1998) Peacock, Dublin
  • In a Little World of Our Own (1997) Peacock, Dublin
  • Sinking (1997) Replay, Belfast
  • That Driving Ambition (1995) Replay, Belfast
  • Alternative Future (1994) Point Fields, Belfast
  • Independent Voice (1993) Tinderbox, Belfast
Radio plays
  • Fighting Cowardice (2014) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Ulster Volunteers (2014) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Loves Worst Day (2013) BBC Radio 4
  • Babies (2012) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Freedom of Poverty (2011) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Ian Really Likes Mary (2010) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Echoes of War (2009) BBC Radio 3
  • Forgotten People Part Two (2009) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Forgotten People Part One (2009) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Just 'Cause (2008) RTÉ Radio 1
  • Loyal Women (2003) BBC Radio 4
  • The Force of Change (2002) BBC Radio 4
  • As the Beast Sleeps (2001) BBC Radio 4
  • At the Base of the Pyramid (1997) BBC Radio 4
  • Drumcree (1996) BBC Radio 4
  • Dividing Force Episode Three: Useless Tools (1995) BBC Radio 4
  • Dividing Force Episode Two: Raising the Standard (1995) BBC Radio 4
  • Dividing Force Episode One: Above the Law (1995) BBC Radio 4
  • Stranded (1995) BBC Radio 3
  • Mandarin Lime (1995) with Jimmy Murphy BBC Radio 3
  • Poison Hearts (1994) BBC Radio 4
  • Independent Voice (1993) BBC Radio 4
  • A Tearful of Dreams (1993) BBC Radio 4
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1991) BBC Radio 4
  • Eight Days That Made Rome (episodes) (2017) Channel 5 (UK)
  • Suffering (2003) Writer/director
  • As the Beast Sleeps (2002) BBC 2
  • An Officer From France (1998) RTÉ 1
  • Made in Heaven (1996) BBC Education


Theatre awards
  • Aisling Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Culture (2006) Remnants of Fear
  • Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright (2000) The Force of Change
  • Joint winner George Divine Award (2000) The Force of Change
  • Pearson Best New Play Award (1999) Trust
  • Belfast Arts Drama Award (1998) Sinking
  • Belfast Arts Drama Award (1998) In a Little World of Our Own
  • Irish Times Best New Play Award (1997) In a Little World of Our Own
Film awards
  • Belfast Arts Award for Best Film (2002) As the Beast Sleeps
  • Best Short Film, Belfast Film Festival (2003) Suffering

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Loyalist paramilitaries drive playwright from his homeThe Guardian, 21 December 2005.
  2. ^ The Theatre Awards: 1997. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ Playwright hits back against intimidationThe Observer, 29 January 2006.
  4. ^ Interview with Gary Mitchell, The Belfast Telegraph, 12 May 2014

External links[edit]