Fergal O'Byrne is an award winning writer for print, stage and screen. His debut novel Trolley Ride in Manhattan (Mentor Books, 2000) has become a cult classic in the USA. His recent collection of short stories Careful What You Wish For was published in 2022. The book is available to download on Amazon as an ebook - and on Lulu's platform as a hard copy.
His short story, Sweetpea, was a winner in the Colm Tóibin International Short Story Award 2022. Standard Model was shortlisted for the FISH Publishing Award 2022 another story Ribeye was Longlisted for the prestigious Alpine Fellowship 2020. He has twice made the short list for the prestigious John McGahern Award (2021 and 2022).
In 2020 Fergal’s award winning play Extremophiles received its world premiere in Copenhagen. This was followed by the second play of his Location Trilogy, Rub-a-dub-dub, which premiered in early 2022, also in Copenhagen. The third play of the trilogy, Same Shit Different Planet, was staged in Jan/Feb 2023. These were all performed by renown English language entity, That Theatre Company.
His 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 several radio plays aired by Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE.
Award winning short movie credits include Eyes Wide Open (2017 Silver Screen Award Nevada, Miami, Berlin Festivals) Ribeye (2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards) and Glass Ceiling (2014 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards). His short film Belinda will be screened in late 2023, directed by Maureen Payne-Hahner featuring Annemette Andersen and Claus Bue.
Season One of his sitcom Hipsterverse is being aired on PCEN across North America. Season One of his sitcom GIFT* is currently being developed by a Danish production company.
Work on TV includes Inside Joke (co-written with long-time collaborator William Morgan) and GIFT*, a sitcom in development with a Danish production company. Season 1 of his sitcom Hipsterverse is being aired on PCEN across North America. More work is featured on IMDb here.
Fergal divides his time between Denmark, Ireland and Spain and is married with twin daughters.
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.
The Copenhagen Post newspaper featured a recent interview with Fergal about his Irish background, what brought him to Denmark and who he celebrates his Irishness during Saint Patrick's Day in the Danish capital.
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.
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.
The images listed to the right are a sample of the script awards won over the last few years for various screen projects.
© 2023 Fergal O'Byrne