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Conor McPherson denies Martin McDonagh ‘stage Irish’ criticism

Conor McPherson
Conor McPherson in London (Pic: Mal McNally)

PLAYWRIGHT Conor McPherson has denied questioning the Irishness of fellow writer Martin McDonagh.

McPherson had previously been quoted by the New York Times as criticising second-generation Irishman McDonagh’s plays as “stage Irish”.

The comment sparked a furious response from McDonagh who, at the time, threatened to physically reprimand the Dubliner and branded the comment as “ludicrous”.

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However, speaking to the Irish Post, McPherson has denied the comment saying that it was falsely attributed to him.

He said: “I never said that. I don’t know where that came from. Someone said that I said that [that McDonagh was stage Irish] in some article but I never said it. I don’t know how that happened. I think that Martin is amazing.

“I think that what he’s achieved is amazing. He’s such a macabre technician, you know, with what he does. I admire him hugely.

“That was somebody just trying to make trouble because it was in an interview they were doing with him. They were just looking to get a rile out of him. I think he was just a bit ambushed, but I never said that.”

McPherson and McDonagh are both in London this week where they each have works opening on the West End.

McPherson is in the city to direct the world premiere of his latest play, The Night Alive, which opens at the Donmar Warehouse on Wednesday (June 19).

The play stars Ciaran Hinds, Jim Norton and Brian Gleeson.

A revival of McDonagh’s 1996 dark comedy, The Cripple of Inishmaan will open at the Noel Coward Theatre in London tomorrow night.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe leads a cast that includes Pat Shortt and Padraic Delaney .


Steve Cummins

Steve is the Irish Post's digital media & entertainment editor and looks after the paper's website and weekly entertainment supplement, Rí-Rá. Follow him @steve_cummins

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One comment on “Conor McPherson denies Martin McDonagh ‘stage Irish’ criticism”

  1. elo

    What is about playwrights named Mc? Glad to see Conor McPherson deny his quote here about Martin McDonagh - made three years earlier in 2010. Best not to leave anger fester so long next time as it can settle into hate. I can't say I knew anything about his comment until now - but I do know that I simply cannot stand The Weir, partly for the very characteristic Mcpherson attributes to Mcdonagh - having seem the original production, I gave it another go with the recent revival by Josie Rourke in London - still nothing doing. For real engagement and truthfulness in an Irish pub, go see Quietly by Owen McCafferty instead.


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