Gary Owen

Photograph of Gary Owen © Kirsten McTernan

Last updated: 08 July 2010

Gary Owen is one of Wales' foremost playwrights, has won a clutch of awards for playwrighting and is currently in collaboration with National Theatre Wales and National Theatre of Scotland. (Photo © Kirsten McTernan)

Gary Owen was born in Pembrokeshire in 1972 and was raised in Narberth, Clynderwen and Bridgend. Following education in Bridgend and at Cambridge University he attended the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark. He currently lives in Cardiff.

Owen is currently working on a play entitled Love Steals Us From Loneliness, set to be the National Theatre Wales' seventh production in their inaugural year. It will open in Bridgend in October 2010 and will be directed by NTW's John McGrath, with the core of the production centred on what it means to be a young person growing up in Bridgend today.

He was a script editor at BBC Wales between 1998 and 2000, and was the Pearson Writer-in-Residence at Paines Plough between 2001 and 2002, supported by a bursary from the Pearson Playwright's Scheme.

His play The Drowned World was joint winner of the Pearson Best Play Award in 2002. In 2003 Owen won the Meyer Whitworth Award for The Shadow of a Boy, which was also a joint winner in 2002 of the George Devine Award.

Productions in the mid-noughties include Ghost City, Amser Canser (Cancer Time), Enduring Freedom and We That Are Left.

2008 saw him work on a new large scale children's play for Bridgend County Youth Theatre, Mary Twice, and he produced Blackthorn for Hampstead Theatre and Theatr Clwyd.

In 2009 he wrote Amgen, a play in Welsh and English, for Sherman Cymru and Bulletproof, a Verbatim Theatre commission for Replay Productions in Northern Ireland.

2010 has already proved a busy year for the playwright. In February he devised The Ugly Truth with Sarah Argent, Hannah McPake and Shekira Johnson for Theatr Iolo and wrote new play Free Folk for Forest Forge.

In April, Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian (starring The Bill's Trudie Goodwin) opened at the Watford Palace Theatre, while in May he adapted Frank Wedekind's controversial play Spring Awakening for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Along with the National Theatre Wales production Love Steals Us From Loneliness, Owen is also working on a new commission, The Long Revolution, for the National Theatre of Scotland.

Selected works

  • Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco (2001)
  • The Shadow of a Boy (2002)
  • The Drowned World (2002)
  • Blackthorn (2008)
  • Amgen (Broken) (2009)
  • Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian (2010)
  • Love Steals Us From Loneliness (2010)
  • The Long Revolution (2010)

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