My first play was produced in the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1989. I was 22 and didn't really know what I was doing. For the next few years I tried and failed to write a decent follow-up. It wasn't until 1995 that I cracked it, and I had a sequence of five one-act plays in the Dublin Fringe Festival that year.
Since then I've had plays in the Project, the Lyric, the Half Moon, the King's Head, Dublin Castle, The Pavilion, Listowel Arts Centre and in a couple of small theatres in London and New York. Companies still ask me occasionally for permission to produce one, I guess because an actor remembers something fondly, but I've taken them all out of circulation. Some of the scripts are actively bad, and the rest of them need a lot of work that I'm not in the mood to do.
Recently I've had more fun with less traditional forms. I've written and directed documentary plays about Ireland's past in the History Festival, and toured a selection of work from Padraig Pearse with Bryan Murray, Una Crawford-O'Brien and the harpist Mary-Louise O'Donnell. Some of that was exceptional. It was chilling to hear Una perform his court-martial speech in Richmond Barracks, where he was tried, or to present the play on the small stage of Scoil Eanna, the school he lived and wrote in.
in 2016 I directed Under Which Flag?, the only surviving play by James Connolly. The first production was in City Hall, in Easter Week. The second brought it back to Liberty Hall on the centenary of its first production. Both performances were graced with a moving performance by Sabina O'Higgins, Ireland's first lady and an important figure in the modernisation of Irish performance.
I also translated Seneca's first play, the Hercules Furens. Andy Hinds directed a rehearsed reading in Dublin's New Theatre. It went well enough to suggest a future. Check back in a couple of months.