Fergal O'Byrne

An Irish born writer living and working in Copenhagen.

Billy Roche, Playwright

I first encountered the work of Fergal O’Byrne when he won the Listowel Playwriting Competition with his play, A Dragon’s Tale in 2013. I was the judge and jury that year and I was impressed by his writing and dialogue, which sprang from the page so freely that I came to the quick conclusion that here was a writer I should, and must, endorse. My decision to award him first prize turned out to be a worthy one when he went on to win the prize for a second time in 2018 with Extremophiles.

Since then I have watched him with a loving fascination as he carefully, not to mention patiently, proceeded to hone and develop his stage craft. Jungian, Freudian, Nordic – all of these names and terms spring to mind when you read a Fergal O’Byrne play, and yet, while he is not averse to harking back (Ibsen seems an influence), he is most definitely a playwright for today, and a writer who has one wild, wily eye on a dubious tomorrow.

Extremophiles is a great example of what he hopes to achieve, combining as it does the icy zeitgeist of the here and now with the psychological, existential terror of what may, or may not, come to pass. It has a Poe-like, mysterious, thrilling aspect which makes you treasure the safety of your own armchair as you wait for the potentially terrifying, inevitable thing to happen.

 In bravely mining these strange, disturbing psychological, storytelling regions (another of his plays, Folie-a-Deux deals with The Madness Of Two Syndrome) he has managed to find his own unique voice which sets him apart from his competitors.


After moving to Copenhagen, O'Byrne met Ian Burns, the Artistic Director of That-Theatre Company. Burns agreed to stage Fergal's entire "Location Trilogy". The first play, Extremophiles, received its world premiere in October 2020 in the Krudttønden Theatre. This will be followed by Rub-a-Dub-Dub in March 2022 at the same venue and the third play of the trilogy, Martian Toothache, in Autumn 2022.

His previous stage work has garnered multiple awards, including; A Dragon's Tale (Eamon Keane Award 2013), Folie-a-Deux (Listowel 2015) and Extremophiles (Eamon Keane Award 2018, Papatango 2018 and NEWvember Festival 2017). He has also written radio plays aired by Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE.

Award winning short movie credits include Belinda (WFF Shortlist 2021) Eyes Wide Open (2017 Silver Screen Award Nevada, Miami, Berlin Festivals) Ribeye (2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards), Bio (2016 Miami, Los Angeles, Antwerp and Dublin Film Festivals) and Glass Ceiling (2014 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards). All movies above are a collaboration with long-time friend and the actor/director William Morgan.

In 2022 his feature movie Exo will go into development with OSCAR winning director Laurits Munch-Petersen as co-writer. Season 1 of his sitcom Hipsterverse was aired on PCEN across North America. Season 2 of Hipsterverse is in pre-production. His sitcom GIFT is in development in Denmark.

Fergal has also written short stories and a novel, Trolley Ride in Manhattan (Mentor Books, 2000). Among his short stories a number have garnered awards, Silvercup (Shortlisted - Colm Tóibin International Short Story Award), Ribeye (Longlisted - Alpine Fellowship 2020) and at the bottom of the world (Finalist  - John McGahern Award 2021).

Fergal is a member of Danske Dramatikere.


Screenwriting Awards

The images listed to the right are a sample of the script awards won over the last few years for various screen projects.