McDonagh at the Toronto premiere of Seven Psychopaths in 2012
Martin Faranan McDonagh
26 March 1970
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, film director|
Martin Faranan McDonagh ( // ; born 26 March 1970) is an Irish-British playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director. Born and brought up in London, the son of Irish parents, he is considered among the most acclaimed living Irish playwrights. A winner of the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, McDonagh has been nominated for three other Academy Awards, and in 2018 won three BAFTA Awards from four nominations and two Golden Globe Awards from three nominations for his film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri .
McDonagh was born in Camberwell, London, to Irish parents.His mother (originally from Killeenduff, Easky, County Sligo) and his father (originally from Leitir Mealláin, Connemara, County Galway) moved back to Galway in 1992, leaving McDonagh and his brother (writer-director John Michael McDonagh) 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 is set across the Aran Islands, off the coast of County Galway, and consists of The Cripple of Inishmaan (1996), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001) and The Banshees of Inisheer. The third play was never published, as McDonagh insisted it "isn't any good", though he has expressed a desire to return to it when he is older.
McDonagh's first non-Irish play, The Pillowman , is set in a fictitious totalitarian state and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in 2003, after a reading at the Finborough Theatre in 1995.
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.
In February 2010, an announcement revealed that McDonagh was working on a new stage musical with composer Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson.
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 next produced Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in 1998. The play transferred to Broadway in April 1998 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.
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.
Two brothers bicker in the aftermath of the supposedly accidental fatal shooting of their father. The play ran on Broadway in 1999 and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 1999.
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 play was written as a response to the 1993 Warrington bombings when two children were killed by the IRA.It is 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 finale of the Aran Islands trilogy. Unproduced and unpublished, it is "a portrait of an ageing writer with declining skills".
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 2004and received a 2005 Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
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.
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.
A play set in a townhouse in Copenhagen that reveals the dark source of the tales of children's author Hans Christian Andersen, as well as of the writer Charles Dickens. Premiered at the Bridge Theatre, London in October 2018.
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 McDonagh "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 an interview with Sean O'Hagan of The Guardian, McDonagh said theatre "is never going to be edgy in the way I want it to be", when discussing his absence from London theatre and promoting his new play Hangmen .
In 2006, McDonagh won an Academy Award for his short film Six Shooter (2004), which is his first film that he wrote and directed.Six Shooter is a black comedy (as are his plays) that features Brendan Gleeson, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Wilmot and Aisling O'Sullivan. It 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 train journey homeward following his wife's death.
McDonagh entered into an agreement with the Focus Features film production company to direct In Bruges , a feature-length film based on his own screenplay. Two Irish hitmen hide in the Flemish city of Bruges after a problematic job. Released in the US 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 Stop Smiling magazine, McDonagh said, "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 travelled 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.
McDonagh wrote and directed his drama-dark film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 4 Septemberand won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival on 17 September 2017. Three Billboards won four awards at the 2017 Golden Globes, including Best Screenplay for McDonagh.
As of 2018, McDonagh is in a relationship with writer and actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
|2004||Six Shooter||Yes||Yes||No||Short film |
Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
|2008||In Bruges||Yes||Yes||No||Directorial Debut |
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
|2017||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||Yes||Yes||Yes||Nominated- Academy Award for Best Picture |
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
The Druid Theatre Company is a major Irish theatre company, based in Galway, Ireland. In 1975, the Company was founded by Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally - all of whom first met and worked together as members of University College Galway dramatic society, commonly known as NUIG Dramasoc. It was the first Irish professional theatre company to be established outside Dublin..
Connemara is a cultural region in County Galway, Ireland. The area has a strong association with traditional Irish culture and contains a major part of the Connacht Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, which is a key part of the identity of the region and is the largest Gaeltacht in the country.
Leenaun, also Leenane, is a village and 1,845 acre townland in northern County Galway, Ireland, on the southern shore of Killary Harbour, on the northern edge of Connemara.
The Pillowman is a 2003 play by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It received its first public reading in an early version at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 1995, also a final and completed version of the play was publicly read in 1998 and then finished and released as a book in some places in 1999. Production started in 2000 for the eventual 2003 grand slam performance. It tells the tale of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a police state, who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre child murders occurring in his town. The play received the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2004-5 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play, and two Tony Awards for production. It was nominated for the 2004 Evening Standard Award for Best New Play.
Atlantic Theater Company is an Off-Broadway non-profit theater, whose mission is to produce great plays "simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble." The company was founded in 1985 by David Mamet, William H. Macy, and 30 of their acting students from New York University, inspired by the historical examples of the Group Theatre and Stanislavski. Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process.
Kerry Condon is an Irish television and film actress, best known for her role as Octavia of the Julii in the HBO/BBC series Rome, as Stacey Ehrmantraut in AMC's Better Call Saul, and as the voice of F.R.I.D.A.Y. in various films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is also the youngest actress ever to play Ophelia in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. She appeared in AMC's The Walking Dead in "30 Days Without an Accident".
The Lonesome West is a play by contemporary Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, part of his Connemara trilogy, which includes The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Skull in Connemara. All three plays depict the shocking and murderous goings-on in the Western Ireland town of Leenane.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a 1996 dramatic play by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh which was premiered by the Druid Theatre Company in Galway, Ireland. It also enjoyed successful runs at London's West End, Broadway and Off-Broadway.
Michael Grandage CBE is a British theatre director and producer. He is currently Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company. From 2002 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Rúaidhrí Conroy is an Irish actor. He is the son of actor Brendan Conroy. One of his first castings was as Tito in the film Into the West, for which he won a Young Artist Award in the Outstanding Youth Actors in a Family Foreign Film category. In 1998, Conroy received the Theatre World Award for his performance in Martin McDonagh's play, The Cripple of Inishmaan.
The Cripple of Inishmaan is a dark comedy by Martin McDonagh who links the story to the real life filming of the documentary Man of Aran.
Brían Francis O'Byrne is an Irish actor who works and lives in the United States. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in the miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011) and won a BAFTA TV Award for his role in the drama series Little Boy Blue (2017).
Garry Hynes is an Irish theatre director. She was the first woman to win the prestigious Tony Award for direction of a play.
Marie Mullen is an Irish actress and co-founder of the Druid Theatre Company. She is best known for her performance in the 1998 production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, for which she received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
John Crowley is an Irish film and theatre director. He is best known for the films Brooklyn (2015) and his debut feature, Intermission (2003), for which he won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Director. He is a brother of the designer Bob Crowley.
Conor MacNeill is a Northern Irish actor of film, television, and stage.
Tom Jordan Murphy was an Irish theatre and film actor best known for his 1998 Tony Award winning performance in The Beauty Queen of Leenane.
A Behanding in Spokane is a 2010 black comedy by award-winning Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It premiered at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway in 2010. This is McDonagh's first play set in the United States.
Sarah Greene is an Irish actress and singer, best known for portraying Helen McCormick in the West End and Broadway productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan.
Hangmen is a play by the British-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It received its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in September 2015, before transferring to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre. The play was directed by Matthew Dunster, designed by Anna Fleischle, and featured David Morrissey and Reece Shearsmith among others. It was universally acclaimed by theatre critics, and was nominated for numerous awards including the Olivier Awards, Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. For its U.S. premiere in 2018 at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company, Hangmen won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.