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Creator / Martin McDonagh

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Martin Faranan McDonagh (born 26 March 1970) is an English-born Irish playwright, screenwriter, and director. Jumping between both theatre and film frequently, several of his notable works include:

  • The Leenane Trilogy (1996-1997), which consists of the plays 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 plays The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and The Banshees of Inisheer. The second also got him a Tony Award nomination, but the third was never produced due to McDonagh's belief that it "[wasn't] any good".note 
  • Other plays:
    • The Pillowman (2001), wherein a writer is interrogated when the murder-based short stories he writes come true;
    • A Behanding in Spokane (2010), which follows a man trying to find the left hand he lost twenty-five years ago. Behanding starred Christopher Walken, who was nominated for Best Actor Tony.
    • Hangmen: Set in The '60s.
  • Short films: Six Shooter (2004), a short film that 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; Seven Psychopaths (2012), which follows screenwriter Marty trying to write a script, only to draw unwanted inspiration when dragged into a dog-kidnapping; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), which follows a mother's crusade against her town's police force over her daughter's unsolved murder; and The Banshees of Inisherin (2022), which follows two lifelong best friends who abruptly break up their friendship. Bruges won McDonagh the Best Original Screenplay BAFTA, Psychopaths starred an Ensemble Cast and has become somewhat of a Cult Classic, Missouri won two Oscars (Best Actress for Frances McDormand, Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell), and Banshees earned Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan their first acting Oscar nominations. Farrell additionally won the Best Comedy/Musical Actor Golden Globe Award for his roles in Bruges and Banshees.

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 settings in (or near) County Galway (and surrounding islands) during The Troubles, at least in his theatre work.

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: