Why Broadway and West End Playwright Martin McDonagh is Done With Writing Plays | Playbill

Industry News Why Broadway and West End Playwright Martin McDonagh is Done With Writing Plays

The Hangmen and The Cripple of Inishmaan playwright recently spoke about shifting out away from theatre in favor of writing for the screen.

Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh, the playwright behind several successful works including The Cripple of Inishmaan and Hangmen, recently revealed that he plans to focus the rest of his career in making films.

In an interview with The Guardian's Miranda Sawyer, the writer-director explained that his decision to shift towards cinema comes down to time. “I always used to think they took longer than plays, but with [The Banshees of Inisherin] we were filming it a year ago, and now it’s out,” McDonagh said in the interview. “But, if you’re lucky enough to have successful plays, which I have been, then they start off-West End, like at the Royal Court, then you go to the West End, then to Off-Broadway, and then to on Broadway. And to get that right with each move, to cast it and take care of it, go to rehearsals, that’s five years of your life.”

His latest film, The Banshees of Inisherin, actually began as the third play in McDonagh's trilogy comprised of The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Finding the work best suited for film rather than the stage, McDonagh also directs. The film is currently playing film festivals and will see a wide release in U.S. movie theatres October 21.

McDonagh has had several plays take the stage on Broadway, beginning with The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1998. It was followed by The Lonesome West (1999), The Pillowman (2005)The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2006), A Behanding in Spokane (2010), The Cripple of Inishmaan (2014), and Hangmen (2020). Hangmen held 13 preview performances prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, following which it officially opened on Broadway April 21, 2022. It earned five Tony nominations, including Best Play.

Check out New Production Photos for Broadway's Hangmen


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