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Frank McGuinness


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Writers: Film & Television, Writers: Playwrights


Credit Dominic Martella, UCD

Frank McGuinness’ original plays include THE FACTORY GIRLS (Abbey Theatre Dublin 1982, Tricycle Theatre 1990 and Arcola Theatre 2006); BAGLADY (Abbey Theatre Dublin 1985); OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME (Abbey Theatre Dublin 1985, Hampstead Theatre 1986 and 2009, with Awards from London Evening Standard for Most Promising Playwright, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Harvey’s Best Play Award, the Cheltenham Literary Prize Plays and Players Award, the Ewart- Briggs Peace Prize and the London Fringe Award); INNOCENCE (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1986), CARTHAGINIANS (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1988; Hampstead Theatre, London, 1989), MARY AND LIZZIE (RSC, 1989), THE BREAD MAN (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1991); THE BIRD SANCTUARY (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1992), MUTABILITIE (RNT, 1997); SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME (Hampstead, West End and Broadway 1992, West End 2005, winning the New York Critics’ Circle Award and Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play); DOLLY WEST’S KITCHEN (Abbey 1999, Old Vic Theatre 2000); GATES OF GOLD ( Gate Theatre, Dublin 2002); SPEAKING LIKE MAGPIES (RSC, Stratford and London 2005/6); THERE CAME A GYPSY RIDING (Almeida Theatre 2007); GRETA GARBO CAME TO DONEGAL (Tricycle Theatre 2010); CROCODILE (Sky Arts Live, Riverside Studios 2010); THE MATCH BOX (Liverpool Playhouse 2012); THE HANGING GARDENS (Abbey Theatre Dublin 2013); and a musical play DONEGAL (with music by Kevin Doherty) (Abbey Theatre Dublin 2016). 

Adaptations of classic plays include Lorca’s YERMA; Chekhov’s THREE SISTERS and UNCLE VANYA; Brecht’s THE THREEPENNY OPERA and THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE; Ibsen’s HEDDA GABLER, A DOLL’S HOUSE, PEER GYNT, THE LADY FROM THE SEA, JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN, GHOSTS, THE WILD DUCK and ROSMERSHOLM; Sophocles’ ELECTRA, OEDIPUS and THEBANS; Ostrovsky’s THE STORM; Strindberg’s MISS JULIE; Euripides’ HECUBA and HELEN; Racine’s PHAEDRA; Molina’s DAMNED BY DESPAIR; James Joyce’s THE DEAD; and a dramatisation of Du Maurier’s REBECCA. These adaptations have been performed repeatedly at the National, West End, on Broadway, and internationally, with Frank’s adaptation of A DOLL’S HOUSE winning a Best Revival Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Award.

Television screenplays include SCOUT (1987), THE HEN HOUSE (1989, winning the Prix de l’Intervision and Prix de l’Art Critique at the 1990 Prague International Television Awards), TALK OF ANGELS (1998), DANCING AT LUGHNASA (1998), A SHORT STAY IN SWITZERLAND (2009) and A SONG FOR JENNY (2015). 

His first novel, ARIMATHEA, was published by Brandon/O'Brien Press, 2013. They will publish his new book, The Woodcutter And His Family, in September 2017. He has published five volumes of poetry from Gallery Press.

Frank McGuinness lectures in English at University College Dublin. 


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