Enda Walsh

Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright born in Dublin and currently living in London. Having written for the Dublin Youth Theatre, he moved to Cork where he wrote Fishy Tales for the Graffiti Theatre Company, followed by Ginger Ale Boy for Corcadorca Theatre Company. His main breakthrough came with the production of his play Disco Pigs in collaboration with director Pat Kiernan of Corcadorca. The play won three awards, including the Stewart Parker and George Devine Awards in 1997, and was made into a film, for which he wrote the screenplay, in 2001.

Productions of his plays at the Edinburgh Festival have won four Edinburgh Fringe First Awards, two Critic’s Awards and a Herald Archangel Award (2008). His numerous other honors include an Abbey Theatre Writer in Association Award in 2006 and, for a production of New Electric Ballroom at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, an Obie Award in 2010. His plays, notably Disco Pigs, Bedbound, Small Things, Chatroom, New Electric Ballroom and The Walworth Farce, have been translated into more than 20 languages and have had productions throughout Europe and in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. He has written two radio plays, with Four Big Days in the Life of Dessie Banks for RTÉ winning the IPA Radio Drama Award and The Monotonous Life of Little Miss P for the BBC commended at the Gran Prix Berlin.

His commissioned work includes plays for Paines Plough in London, the Druid Theatre in Galway, the Kammerspiele in Munich and the Royal National’s Connections Project in London. He co-wrote the screenplay of Hunger, which was directed by Steve McQueen and stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger striker who starved himself to death in protest over British rule. Hunger won 33 awards worldwide, including the Caméra d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Film Award from the Evening Standard British Film Awards 2009 and Heartbeat Award at the Dinard International Film Festival, and a nomination for Best British Film at the British Academy Film Awards. Walsh wrote an adaptation of his play Chatroom for a film directed by Hideo Nakata, which was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. He is currently under commission for two films: an adaptation of the children’s story Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson, and Into That Darkness, the story of Franz Stangl, SS commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka concentration camps. Last fall, Walsh participated in the Bush Theatre of London’s 2011 project Sixty-Six Books, for which he wrote a piece based upon a chapter of the King James Bible.

Walsh had three plays performed in New York and Chicago in December 2011, including the new work Penelope and an acclaimed revival of his early play, Misterman, starring Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception, In Time). His musical adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Once was performed Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in December and will open on Broadway in March 2012.

Walsh will be in residency at SMU at the same time as fellow winner Michael Keegan-Dolan for four weeks in fall 2012. They will collaborate with SMU theatre and dance students to create a new dance/theatre piece tentatively slated for a major European festival in 2013. The piece also will receive public workshop performances in Dallas during their residency.

Video: Meadows Prize winners Enda Walsh and Michael Keegan-Dolan discuss their residency at SMU Meadows.