Monday, February 16, 2009

Hugh Leonard 1926-2009

The Irish playwright and scriptwriter Hugh Leonard died last week at the age of 82.

His best-known work, Da, was first produced in 1973 and won a Tony Award following a run on Broadway in 1978. He also completed several major literary adaptations for the BBC, including both Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights in 1967.

There are obituaries in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and The Irish Times.
He tended to be excluded from the pantheon of “Great Irish Writers” yet he had more of a claim to the first rank than many more highly rated by the arbiters of culture.

At their best, his plays have a wit, dramatic punch and a truth which are as good as anything written for the Irish stage in the past 50 years. They are also excellently crafted.

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