Martin McDonagh is a playwright, screenwriter and film director born and brought up in London to Irish parents. He has been described as one of the most influential living playwrights in Ireland.
Separated into two trilogies, McDonagh first six plays are located in and around the county of Galway, where he spent his holidays as a child. McDonagh first non-Irish play The Pillowman is set in a fictitious totalitarian state and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London in 2003.
A Behanding in Spokane is his first play set the United States and it premiered on Broadway in March 2010. Lead actor Christopher Walken was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as a killer looking for the hand he lost in his youth.
McDonagh also penned two prize-winning radio plays, one of which is The Tale of the Woolf and the Woodcutter. In February 2010, an announcement revealed that McDonagh was working on a new stage musical with composer Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson.
Mc Donagh has stated that he prefers writing films to plays. In 2006, McDonagh won an Academy Award for his short film Six Shooters (2005), which is the playwright's first film. Six Shooters is a black comedy that features Brendan Gleeson, Ruaidhri Conroy, David Wilmot and Aisling O'Sullivan, and was shot on location in Wicklow, Waterford and Rosslare. In the short film, Gleeson's character encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young man during a homeward train journey following the death of his wife.
McDonagh then went on directing In Bruges, a feature-length film based on his own screenplay, in which two irish hit men hide in the Flemish town of Bruges after a problematic job. Released in the USA in 2008, the film features Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. In 2012, Seven psychopaths was released in North America.