McDonagh at the 2012
Toronto International Film Festival
26 March 1970 |
Camberwell, London, England
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, film director|
|Notable work||In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths|
Martin McDonagh (//; born 26 March 1970) is a playwright, screenwriter and film director, born and raised in London with both British and Irish citizenship. He has been described as one of the most important living Irish playwrights.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Recurring collaborators
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 References
- 7 External links
McDonagh was born in Camberwell, London, England to Irish parents. His mother (originally from Killeenduff, Easky, County Sligo) and his father (originally from Lettermullen, Connemara, County Galway) later moved back to Galway, leaving McDonagh and his brother (writer-director John Michael McDonagh) to grow up in London.
Separated into two trilogies, McDonagh's first six plays are located in and around County Galway, where he spent his holidays as a child. The first is set in Leenane, a small village on the west coast of Ireland, and consists of The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), A Skull in Connemara (1997) and The Lonesome West (1997). His second trilogy consists of The Cripple of Inishmaan (1997), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001) and The Banshees of Inisheer (the third play was never published, as McDonagh insisted it "isn't any good"), and are set across a trio of islands that are located off the coast of County Galway.
A Behanding in Spokane is McDonagh's first play that is set in the United States and it premiered on Broadway in March 2010.  Lead actor Christopher Walken was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play  for his performance as a killer looking for the hand he lost in his youth.
McDonagh also penned two prize-winning radio plays, one of which is The Tale of the Wolf and the Woodcutter.
The Leenane Trilogy
- The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996)
The story of the dysfunctional relationship between a spinster and her domineering mother, during the course of which the former faces her last chance at love, and the latter faces a rather grim end. The play was well received on its opening night in Galway in 1996 and was then produced Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in 1998. The play transferred to Broadway in April 1998 and received a Tony Award for Best Play nomination.
- A Skull in Connemara (1997)
A Connemara man is employed to exhume skeletons in an overcrowded graveyard and he encounters the wife whom he was once accused of killing. The play premiered in 1997 at Town Hall Theatre, Galway. The play was presented at the Royal Court Theatre (London), and made its US premiere at the A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) in Seattle, Washington in July to August 2000. The play ran Off-Broadway in January to May 2001 at the Gramercy Theatre, produced by the Roundabout Theatre.
- The Lonesome West (1997)
The Aran Islands Trilogy
- The Cripple of Inishmaan (1996)
A dark comedy in which a crippled teenager schemes to attain a role in Man of Aran. The play opened in 1997 at the Royal National Theatre (Cottesloe) in London. It opened in April 1998 Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, with Ruaidhri Conroy in the title role on both occasions. Also in 1998, Frederick Koehler played the title role in the Geffen Playhouse production in Los Angeles, California.
In December 2008, The Cripple of Inishmaan was produced Off-Broadway by the Atlantic Theater Company, in conjunction with The Druid Theatre Company of Galway, Ireland.
- The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001)
A dark comedy in which the insane leader of an INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) splinter group discovers that his best friend, a cat, has been killed. The play was produced Off-Broadway in February 2006 by the Atlantic Theater Company. It transferred to Broadway in May 2006 and received a 2006 Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
- The Banshees of Inisheer
The finale of the Aran Islands trilogy (unproduced and unpublished).
- The Pillowman (2003)
A writer in a non-specified totalitarian state is interrogated over the content of several of his Brothers Grimm-style short stories. The play was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2004 and received a 2005 Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
- A Behanding in Spokane (2010)
A play in which the character of Carmichael has been searching for his missing left hand for a quarter of a century. The play opened on Broadway in March 2010. The play was nominated for the 2010 Drama League award, Distinguished Production of a Play.
- Hangmen (2015)
A play following Harry Wade, England's second-best hangman, after the abolition of hanging in Great Britain in 1965. The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in September 2015. The play was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2016.
McDonagh has stated that he prefers writing films to plays, as he holds a "respect for the whole history of films and a slight disrespect for theatre." In a 1998 conversation with Irish drama critic Fintan O'Toole in BOMB Magazine, McDonagh further explained, "It's not that I don't respect theatre. I'm intelligent enough to know that a play can completely inspire a person as much as a film...[but] theatre isn't something that's connected to me, from a personal point of view, I can't appreciate what I'm doing." In an interview in 2005, the New York Times writer observed that he "now seems more comfortably resigned to the storytelling powers of drama, if still dismissive of its inherent elitism. 'It's kind of weird working in an art form that's not, well ...,' he stops and starts again. 'It's strange to be working in an art form that costs $100 to participate in' " 
In 2006, McDonagh won an Academy Award for his short film Six Shooter (2005), which is the playwright's first film. Six Shooter is a black comedy that features Brendan Gleeson, Ruaidhri Conroy, David Wilmot and Aisling O'Sullivan, and was shot on location in Wicklow, Waterford and Rosslare. In the short film, Gleeson's character encounters a strange, and possibly psychotic, young man during a homeward train journey following his wife's death.
McDonagh then entered into an agreement with the Focus Features film production company to direct In Bruges, a feature-length film based on his own screenplay, in which two Irish hitmen hide in the Flemish city of Bruges after a problematic job. Released in the USA in 2008, the film features Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson. In Bruges was the Opening Night film for the 2008 Sundance Festival and the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and McDonagh received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 81st Academy Awards.
In a 2008 interview with the Stop Smiling magazine, McDonagh revealed "I've got a couple of film scripts that are ready to go. I'm not going to do anything with them for a couple of years, until I've traveled and had some fun. But there's one called Seven Psychopaths; if I do another film, that'll be it. I hope you like it." The production of the film was confirmed in May 2011 and it was eventually released in North America on 12 October 2012. Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Tom Waits star in the film.
Plays staged in Iran
In August 2013, The Pillowman was staged at Arasbaran Cultural House in Tehran. The play was directed by Mohammad Yaghoubi and Ayda Keikhai, and received a warm welcome by Iranian theater-goers. In December 2014, The Lieutenant of Inishmore was staged at Tajrobeh Theater, Tehran. The play was directed by Morteza Meshkat.
Awards and nominations
Critics' Circle Theatre Awards
- Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright
- 1996: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Won)
- Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play
Drama Desk Awards
- Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play
- 1998: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Won)
- 2005: The Pillowman (Nomination)
- 2006: The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Nomination)
Laurence Olivier Awards
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
- 1998: A Skull in Connemara (Nomination)
- 2003: The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Won)
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play
- Tony Award for Best Play
- 1998: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Nomination)
- 1999: The Lonesome West (Nomination)
- 2005: The Pillowman (Nomination)
- 2006: The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Nomination)
- "Seven steps to Martin McDonagh". Irish Times. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Zinoman, Jason (7 March 2010). "Is He Mellower? Ask the Guy Missing a Hand". New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- McDonald, Henry. "Profile" The Guardian, 25 April 2008
- O'Hagan, Sean. "Interview. The wild west" The Guardian, 23 March 2001
- O'Hagan, Sean. "Martin McDonagh interview: ‘Theatre is never going to be edgy in the way I want it to be’" The Guardian, 13 September 2015
- Hicklinh, Alfred. "'A Skull in Connemara' review – a sprited revival that redefines the concept of graveyard humour The Guardian, 28 May 2015
- The Pillowman (2006–2007) at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Accessed 5 March 2009. Archived 26 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Wolf, Matt. "Review: The Pillowman " Variety, 26 November 2003, accessed 7 May 2016
- " A Behanding in Spokane Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 7 May 2016.
- Finkle, David. "Review" theatermania.com, 2 March 2010
- The Tale of the Wolf and the Woodcutter Archived 21 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "New Musical From Tom Waits on the Horizon". Tom Waits. Tom Waits & ANTI Records. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Russell, Richard Rankin."Appendix: Chronology of Martin McDonagh's Life and Works" Martin McDonagh: A Casebook, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 1135868093, pp.178-180
- "'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' Off-Broadway" lortel.org, accessed 4 April 2016
- "'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 4 April 2016
- McBride, Murdoch. "Martin McDonagh’s 'A Skull In Connemara' Closing at Gramercy, May 20" Playbill, 20 May 2001
- Ehren, Christine. "McDonagh's Skull Rises Out of Seattle's ACT July 27-Aug. 20" Playbill, 27 July 2000
- "1999 Awards" broadwayworld.com, accessed 6 April 2016
- "'The Lonesome West' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 4 April 2016
- "'The Cripple of Inishmaan' Off-Broadway" lortel.org, accessed 4 April 2016
- Hoffler, Robert. "Review: ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’" Variety, 29 October 1998
- Healy, Patrick (16 January 2014). "Daniel Radcliffe Returning to Broadway in 'Cripple of Inishmaan'". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore' Off-Broadway" lortel.org, accessed 4 April 2016
- "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 4 April 2016
- "Olivier Awards, 2004" olivierawards.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- " The Pillowman Awards" ibdb.com, accessed 7 May 2016
- Brantley, Ben (5 March 2010). "Packing Heat, and a Grudge". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "'A Behanding in Spokane' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 4 April 2016
- Clapp, Susannah. "'Hangmen' review – a tremendous, terrifying return by Martin McDonagh" The Guardian, 27 September 2015
- Fintan O'Toole (Spring 1998). "Martin McDonagh". BOMB Magazine. New Art Publications. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- McKinley, Jesse. "Suffer the Little Children" The New York Times, 3 April 2005
- "2006 Oscars". Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- James, Caryn. "Martin McDonagh Finds His Inner Thug as Film Director" The New York Times, 4 April 2006
- Tim Robey (18 April 2008). "Film reviews: In Bruges, Fool's Gold, Street Kings and more". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Wally Hammond (15 April 2008). "In Bruges (18)". Time Out London. Time Out. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "In Bruges (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "Q&A: Martin McDonagh, director of in Bruges". Stop Smiling. Stop Smiling Media, LLC. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "'Seven Psychopaths' Listing" tcm.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- The Pillowman staged in Tehran
- McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Tehran stage
- "Martin McDonagh Filmography" tcm.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- Regan, Alex. "John Michael McDonagh's 'Guard'" dazeddigital.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- In Bruges tcm.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- The Guard tcm.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- Jaafar, Ali. "Woody Harrelson & Sam Rockwell Join Frances McDormand For Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards’" deadline.com, 9 March 2016
- "Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, 1996" albemarle-london.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- "Denise Gough wins top theatre award after almost quitting acting" The Guardian, 26 January 2016
- Awards ibdb.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- "Olivier Award 1998" olivierawards.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- "Olivier Award 1997" olivierawards.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- "Olivier Award 2004" olivierawards.com, accessed 4 April 2016
- "Olivier Awards 2016: The winners". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-05-17.