Martin McDonagh is an award-winning, English-born Irish playwright and screenwriter best known for The Leenane Trilogy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore
and the Oscar-nominated 2008 film In Bruges
. Jumping between both theatre and film frequently, several of his notable works include:
- The Leenane Trilogy (1996-1997), which consists of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, and The Lonesome West. The first and third earned him Tony Award nominations.
- The Aran Islands Trilogy (1996-2001), which consists of The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and the unproduced The Banshees of Inisheer. The second also got him a Tony Award nomination.
- Other plays: The Pillowman (2001 theatre), wherein a writer is interrogated when the murder-based short stories he writes come; and A Behanding in Spokane (2010 theatre), which follows a man trying to find the left hand he lost twenty-five years ago. Behanding starred Christopher Walken, who was nominated for a Best Actor Tony.
- Short films: Six Shooter (2004), a short film which involves a train passenger, coping with his wife's recent death, speaking with a very eccentric and possibly psychotic man. The film won McDonagh an Oscar for Best Short Film.
- Feature films: In Bruges (2008), a Black Comedy which follows two Irish hitmen hiding in Belgium following a hit that went wrong; and Seven Psychopaths (2012), which follows screenwriter Marty trying write a script, only to draw unwanted inspiration when dragged into a dog-kidnapping. Bruges won McDonagh the "Best Original Screenplay" BAFTA, and earned starring actor Colin Farrell a "Best Actor" Golden Globe, while Psychopaths starred an Ensemble Cast and has become somewhat of a Cult Classic.
McDonagh's works are easily recognized by being (generally) violent black comedies
that focus on dysfunctional families
, hired killers
, and/or a uniquely twisted form of Small Town Boredom
. Expect incredibly colourful language
, and (in theatre at least) settings in (or near) County Galway (and surrounding islands) during The Troubles
Further, his brother, John Michael McDonagh, made his directorial debut with The Guard
(which Martin produced) in 2011, and also released Calvary
in 2014. Like Six Shooter
and In Bruges
, they both star Brendan Gleeson.
Martin McDonagh's work contains examples of: