Conor McPherson

Playwright, Screenwriter, Director
In the 1990s, Ireland has seen a new flowering in the arts. Stage directors like Garry Hynes, filmmakers such as Paddy Breathnach and actors including Brendan Gleeson and Peter McDonald have emerged as have writers like ... Read more »
Born: 08/05/1971 in Dublin, IE


Writer (5)

The Eclipse 2010 (Movie)


The Actors 2003 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

Saltwater 2000 (Movie)

("This Lime Tree Bower") (Play as Source Material)

Saltwater 2000 (Movie)


I Went Down 1998 (Movie)

Director (4)

The Eclipse 2010 (Movie)


Endgame 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


The Actors 2003 (Movie)


Saltwater 2000 (Movie)

Music (1)

The Eclipse 2010 (Movie)

Guitar, Bass, Drums/Choral Piece (Music)
Actor (1)

I Went Down 1998 (Movie)

Loser in Nightclub (Actor)


In the 1990s, Ireland has seen a new flowering in the arts. Stage directors like Garry Hynes, filmmakers such as Paddy Breathnach and actors including Brendan Gleeson and Peter McDonald have emerged as have writers like Martin McDonagh, Sebastian Barry, Billy Roche and Conor McPherson. Raised in Dublin, McPherson had always been interested in the tradition of storytelling and he found an outlet for it as a college student, acting and writing in productions. Following graduation, he and a group of friends founded their own theater company, producing his "Rum & Vodka" in 1992 and finding particular success with 1994's "The Good Thief". Although McPherson's "This Lime Tree Bower" was turned down by the major theater companies in Dublin (i.e., The Gate and The Abbey), it was produced at London's Bush Theatre. This play, like much of the writers early work, consisted primarily of monologues, which prompted some to feel he was incapable of writing a real dramatic work. Indeed, McPherson had his first international success with his one-person play "St. Nicholas", starring Brian Cox as a theater critic who becomes involved with supernatural elements. Even his acclaimed, award-winning "The Weir" is a quietly conversational piece that features a group of bar patrons recounting ghost stories. Yet in his first screenplay for the unjustly overlooked "I Went Down" (1998). McPherson more than proved the nay-sayers wrong. A wonderfully serio-comic look at low-level gangsters, "I Went Down" displayed the writer's gift for insightful dialogue and colorful characters. When he was tapped to make his feature directorial debut, McPherson turned to familiar material--the screen adaptation of his three-character play "This Lime Tree Bower" filmed under the title "Salt Water" (2000).


University College Dublin

Dublin 1991
Began acting and writing plays while in college



NYC debut of "The Seafarer" at the Booth Theatre; earned Tony award nominations for Best Play and Best Direction


Opened his play, "The Seafarer" at London's National Theatre


Opened "Shining City" on Broadway; nominated for two Tony awards, including Best Play


Premiered his play "Shining City" in London


Second film directed, "The Actors" starring Michael Caine and Michael Gambon


Feature directorial debut, "Saltwater"; adapted from his play "This Lime Tree Bower"


Broadway debut, "The Weir"


Screenwriting debut, "I Went Down"; film starred Peter McDonald and Brendan Gleeson


Wrote and directed the one-person show "St. Nicholas" with Brian Cox playing the theater critic; later opened Off-Broadway


Premiered "This Lime Tree Bower" at the Dublin Fringe Festival, before transferring to London's Bush Theater


Received notice with the play, "The Good Thief"


First play produced "Rum & Vodka"


Worked as a tutor in ethics and moral philosophy at University College in Dublin

Formed own theater company after graduating from college

Became writer-in-residence at the Bush Theater

Raised in Dublin, Ireland

Bonus Trivia


"I can't say why I do this job. I have realized there doesn't have to be a reason behind why people do things or how they end up in situations. It's the difference between forces you can understand and the forces you pretend to understand." - Conor McPherson quoted in Detour magazine, May 1997


"I just have a curiosity about people. When I was growing up, I found the people around me funny, or I found them intriguing, or I was sorry for them. If there was a teacher at school everyone hated, or a priest who was very strict, I would feel sorry for them." - McPherson to The Irish Times, July 2, 1998


"People always seem to want to become athletes at what they do, to do things bigger and better every time. I want to avoid that. I want to be doing smaller projects, and films at the lower end of the budget scale. I'm sure 'The Weir' is the most successful thing that will happen to me for a long time, but I am comfortable enough with that." - McPherson quoted in Variety, July 26, 1998