Award-winning playwright Tom Murphy dies, aged 83

Award-winning playwright Tom Murphy,who worked closely with the Abbey Theatre and the Druid Theatre Company, has died aged 83.

President Michael D Higgins has said the importance of his contribution to Irish theatre is "immeasurable and outstanding", and that he will miss him deeply.

A native of Tuam, Co Galway, Murphy’s first one act play "On the Outside" was written when he was in his 20s.

In 1961 his first full length work, "A Whistle in the Dark", was performed in London.

The intense, angry play - set among Irish emigrants in the UK - had initially been rejected by the Abbey Theatre.

Murphy was to return to the themes of emigration and displacement throughout his decades long career and other significant works included The Sanctuary Lamp, the Gigli Concert and Bailegangaire.

His plays were performed all over the world and from 1984 until his death Murphyhad a significant association with the Galway-based Druid Theatre, which included Druid Murphy, a2013 production of three key works which toured Ireland, the UK and the US.

In an interview at the time, Murphy said the happiest day of his life was seeing his work performed by the Druid for the first time.

He said that having grown up just "20-odd miles away from Galway", he could ever have imagined that his plays and his writing career could have endured for so long.

Described as a master of language and of dialogue, Murphy was the recipient of numerous awards including honorary doctorates.

He was named a Saoi of Aosdána in 2017 and presenting him with that award, PresidentHiggins described him as a playwright of the emigrant whose contribution to Irish theatre had been immense and unique.

Award-winning playwright Tom Murphy,who worked closely with the Abbey Theatre and the Druid Theatre Company, has died aged 83.

President Michael D Higgins has said the importance of his contribution to Irish theatre is "immeasurable and outstanding", and that he will miss him deeply.

A native of Tuam, Co Galway, Murphy’s first one act play "On the Outside" was written when he was in his 20s.

In 1961 his first full length work, "A Whistle in the Dark", was performed in London.

The intense, angry play - set among Irish emigrants in the UK - had initially been rejected by the Abbey Theatre.

Murphy was to return to the themes of emigration and displacement throughout his decades long career and other significant works included The Sanctuary Lamp, the Gigli Concert and Bailegangaire.

His plays were performed all over the world and from 1984 until his death Murphyhad a significant association with the Galway-based Druid Theatre, which included Druid Murphy, a2013 production of three key works which toured Ireland, the UK and the US.

In an interview at the time, Murphy said the happiest day of his life was seeing his work performed by the Druid for the first time.

He said that having grown up just "20-odd miles away from Galway", he could ever have imagined that his plays and his writing career could have endured for so long.

Described as a master of language and of dialogue, Murphy was the recipient of numerous awards including honorary doctorates.

He was named a Saoi of Aosdána in 2017 and presenting him with that award, PresidentHiggins described him as a playwright of the emigrant whose contribution to Irish theatre had been immense and unique.

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