Thomas Kilroy
Thomas F. Kilroy is an Irish playwright and novelist.

He was born in Green Street, Callan, County Kilkenny
County Kilkenny
County Kilkenny is a county in Ireland. It is part of the South-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Kilkenny. The territory of the county was the core part of the ancient Irish Kingdom of Osraige which in turn was the core of the Diocese of...

 and studied at University College, Dublin. In his early career he was play editor at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. In the 1980s, he sat on the board of Field Day Theatre Company, founded by Brian Friel
Brian Friel
Brian Friel is an Irish dramatist, author and director of the Field Day Theatre Company. He is considered to be the greatest living English-language dramatist, hailed by the English-speaking world as an "Irish Chekhov" and "the universally accented voice of Ireland"...

 and Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...

 in 1980, and was Director of its touring company. He became Professor of English in University College, Galway, a post from which he resigned in 1989 to concentrate on writing. He now lives in County Mayo
County Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...

 and is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters, the Royal Society of Literature
Royal Society of Literature
The Royal Society of Literature is the "senior literary organisation in Britain". It was founded in 1820 by George IV, in order to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent". The Society's first president was Thomas Burgess, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury...

, and Aosdána
Aosdána is an Irish association of Artists. It was created in 1981 on the initiative of a group of writers and with support from the Arts Council of Ireland. Membership, which is by invitation from current members, is limited to 250 individuals; before 2005 it was limited to 200...



  • The Death and Resurrection of Mr Roche, The Dublin Theatre Festival, 1968. Published by Faber & Faber, Grove Press, 1968;
  • The O'Neill, The Peacock Theatre, Dublin, 1969. Published by The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, Co Meath, 1995;
  • Sex and Shakespheare, The Abbey, 1976. Revised edition published by The Gallery Press, 1998;
  • Talbot's Box, The Peacock, 1973. Published by The Gallery Press/Delaware, Proscenium Press, 1979;
  • Double Cross, The Abbey, 1986. Published by Faber & Faber, 1986. Translated into French as Double jeu by Alexandra Poulain, 1996;
  • The Madam MacAdam Travelling Theatre, The Field Day Theatre Company, 1992. Published by Methuen, 1992;
  • The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, The Abbey, 1997 and Melbourne Festival 1998. Published by The Gallery Press, 1997;
  • The Shape of Metal, The Peacock, 2003. Published by The Gallery Press;
  • My Scandalous Life, 2004, The Gallery Press.
  • Christ Deliver Us!, 2010, Abbey Theatre.


  • The Seagull (Chekhov
    Anton Chekhov
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

    ), The Royal Court
    Royal Court Theatre
    The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is noted for its contributions to modern theatre...

    , London, 1981. Published by Eyre Methuen, 1981;
  • Ghosts (Ibsen), The Peacock Theatre, Dublin, 1989;
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author (Pirandello) The Abbey Theatre
    Abbey Theatre
    The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

    , Dublin, 1996.


  • The Big Chapel, Faber & Faber, 1971. This novel was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize, 1971 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
  • Sean O'Casey: a Collection of Critical Essays, Ed., Prentice Hall, 1975, ISBN 0-13-628941-X

Pieces for Radio

  • The Door, BBC Radio 4, October 27, 1967;
  • That Man Bracken, BBC Radio 3, June 20, 1986;
  • The Colleen and the Cowboy, RTÉ Radio, Prod. Kate Minogue, September 11, 2005.

Pieces for Television

  • Farmers, Radio Telefís Éireann, 1978;
  • Gold in the Streets, 1993;
  • The Black Joker.

Academic Works

  • Satirical elements in the prose of Thomas Nashe. Thesis (M.A.), University College Dublin, 1959.
  • Mervyn Wall: The demands of Satire., Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review of Letters, Philosophy and Science 47 (Spring 1958): 83-9.
  • Groundwork for an Irish Theatre., Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review of Letters, Philosophy and Science 48 (Summer 1959): 192-8.
  • Reading and Teaching the Novel., Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review of Letters, Philosophy and Science 56 (Winter 1967): 356-7.
  • The Outsider., The Irish Times April 16, 1971.
  • Synge and Modernism., in J. M. Synge Centenary Papers. 1971. Ed. Maurice Harmon. Dublin. Dolmen Press, 1972. 167-79.
  • Synge the Dramatist., Mosaic 5.1 (1972): 9-16.
  • Tellers of Tales., Times Literary Supplement. 17 March 1972: 301-02.
  • The Writer’s Group in Galway., The Irish Times. April 8, 1976.
  • Two Playwrights: Yeats and Beckett.,, Myth and Reality in Irish Literature. Ed. Joseph Ronsley. Toronto: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1977. 183-95.
  • Anglo-Irish Playwrights and Comic Tradition., The Crane Bag 3.2 (1979): 19-27.
  • The Moon and the Yellow River : Denis Johnson’s Shavianism., Denis Johnson : A Retrospective. Joseph Ronsley Ed. Irish Literary Studies 8. Gerrards Cross, Bucks : Colin Smythe, 1981 ; Totawa, New Jersey : Barnes and Noble, 1982. 49 - 58.
  • The Irish Writer: Self and Society, 1950-1980., Literature and the Changing Ireland. Irish Literary Studies 9. Ed. Peter Connolly. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1982. 175-87.
  • The Anglo-Irish., The Irish Times. December 7, 1983.
  • Goldsmith the Playwright., Goldsmith, the Gentle Master. Ed. Sean Lucy. Cork: Cork University Press, 1984. 66-77.
  • Brecht, Beckett, and Williams., Sagetrieb 3.2 (Fall 1984): 81-87.
  • The Autobiographical Novel., The Genius of Irish Prose. Augustine Martin Ed. Thomas Davis Lecture Series. Dublin : Mercier Press in collaboration with Radio Telefís Eirann, 1985. 65-75.
  • Ireland’s Pseudo-Englishman. , Magill 11.5 January 1988 : 52-54.
  • Reassessment. Thomas Kilroy on J.M. Synge : The Complex Creator of a Closed World., The Irish Times April 29, 1989.
  • Secularized Ireland., Culture in Ireland : Division and Diversity ? Proceeding of the Cultures of Ireland Group Conference, 27–28 September 1991. Ed. Edna Longley. Belfast : Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, 1991. 135 - 141.
  • A Generation of Playwrights., Irish University Review 22:1 (Spring 1992): 135-41.
  • Theatrical Text and Literary Text., The Achievement of Brian Friel. Ed. Alan J. Peacock. Gerrard’s Cross: Bucks, Colin Smythe, 1993. 91-102.
  • Some Irish Poems of Yeats,, Eibei-Bungaku. Koka Women’s University, 11.3 (March 1994) : 41 - 53.
  • The Literary Tradition of Irish Drama., Anglistentag 1994 graz : Proceedings. W. Rioehle, H. Keiper edc. Tübingen : Niemeyer, 1995. 7 - 15.
  • John Bull’s Other Island : Shaw’s Irish Play. , Banado Sho Kenkyu. Vol. 3, 1995, 11.1 1-20.
  • Chekhov and the Irish., Program Note. Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya adapt. Frank McGuinness. Field Day Theatre Company. 1995.
  • From Page to Stage., Irish Writers and Their Creative Process. Ed. Jacqueline Genet and Wynne Hellegouarc’h. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1996. 55-62.
  • The Anglo-Irish Theatrical Imagination., Bullan, an Irish Studies journal 3.2 (Winter 1997/ Spring 1998), 5 - 12.
  • Friendship., Irish University Review. 29:1 (Spring-Summer 1999): 83-9.
  • The Seagull, an Adaptation., The Cambridge Companion to Chekhov. Ed. Vera Gottlieg and Paul Allain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 80-90.
  • The Wildean Triangle., What Revels Are in Hand ? Assessment of Contemporary Drama in English in Honor of W. Lippke. B. Reitz, H. Stahl, eds.
  • Contemporary Drama in English., (CDE Studies) 8 Trier : WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2001. 47 - 55.


  • Dreaming House, a Play about George Moore
    George Moore (novelist)
    George Augustus Moore was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He originally wanted to be a painter, and studied art in Paris during the 1870s...

    , 1990.
  • Blake 2001.

Works about Thomas Kilroy

  • Le théâtre de Thomas Kilroy., Thierry Dubost, Presses Universitaires de Caen, 2001, English edition The Plays of Thomas Kilroy: A Critical Study, McFarland, 2007
  • Irish University Review 32:1 Special Issue Thomas Kilroy., Ed. Anthony Roche, (Spring/Summer 2002), 214 p.


  • Guardian Fiction Prize, 1971;
  • Heinemann Award for Literature;
  • Aib Literary Prize;
  • American-Irish Foundation Award for Literature;
  • Rockefeller Foundation Residency;
  • Kyoto University Foundation Fellowship;
  • Prix Nikki Special Commendation;
  • Lifetime Achievement, Irish Times / ESB Theatre Award, 2004.
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