A MIND IN CONNEMARA
The savage world of Martin McDonagh
ã€€ã€€BY FINTAN O’TOOLE
ã€€ã€€In the March 6th issue of ‘The New Yorker”, there is an interesting profile on Martin McDonagh(newyorker.com didn’t put this one on-line), the acclaimed Irish playwright. He wrote total of 7 plays during a few months of time in 1994(he was 24 then). Six of them were produced and staged in London, New York, etc.. All were well received. Huge success.
ã€€ã€€What fascinated me was how he became a writer/playwright living on welfare. He left school at 16, and decided not to seek an education because he doesn’t want to condition himself for a job, or to find himself a boss. He wrote stories, watched TV, did manuel labor when the welfare stopped and quit the job once he is allowed to receive welfare again.
ã€€ã€€That reminded me of the story on how Harry Potter’s author also wrote her story when she was living on welfare.
ã€€ã€€All writers, or writers-wanna-bes should go to England. 🙂 At least English writers.
A few quotes from the actual article.
McDonagh…At thirty-five, he is perhaps the most successful young playwright of the past decade — in 1997, he was widely described as the first dramatist since Shakespeare to have four works professionally produced on the London stage in a single season — and his plays, black comedies in which acts of extreme cruelty and violence are routine, are merciless rebukes to literary sentimentality.
McDonagh’s brother left school at seventeen, intending to be a writer, and started to live on welfare. (He is now a screenwriter–his script “Ned Kelly” was made into a film, which was released in 2003, with Heath Ledger in the title role.) As soon as McDonagh turned sixteen, he did the same. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he said. “I didn’t want to educate myself toward some kind of job. I didn’t even want a job. I didn’t want a boss.”
He insists that he has no intention of writing another play.
“I think I’ve said enough as a young dramatist,” he said. “Until I’ve lived a little more, and experienced a lot more things, and I have more to say that I haven’t said already, it will just feel like repeating the old tricks.” For a moment, McDonagh looked disconsolate. But he sounded hopeful. “I want to just write for the love of it,’ he said.’ And also grow up, because all the plays have the sensibility of a young man.”
I’m amazed at the lucidity of his mind. How he just knew what he wanted (or at least what he didn’t want) at the age of 16, or at the age of 35. I’m amazed that so many novelist didn’t know it is time to stop when they have nothing new to say. But this guy does.
I have no desire whatsoever to see any of his plays.
For those who might, currently his play “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” is showing off Broadway in New York City.