David Greig

Definition

Theater

  • (1969 - ) Scottish playwright and director, known for his ambitious and intricately structured works. Greig was born in Edinburgh but grew up mainly in Nigeria; after studying drama in Bristol he became a cofounder (1990) of the Suspect Culture Theatre Company in Glasgow. His earlier plays include The Architect (1996), in which the troubled title character comes face to face with the residents of the high-rise housing complex he designed, and The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (1999), which interweaves the plight of two Russians adrift on a forgotten space station with the stories of several more earthbound but still drifting characters in modern Scotland. Like many of Greig's works, both were first staged at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre. Subsequent plays have included Outlying Islands (2002), The American Pilot (2005), and Damascus (2007), a tragicomedy of cultural misunderstandings based partly on Greig's own experience of teaching creative writing in the Middle East.

    Greig is now best known, however, for Dunsinane (2010), an audacious 'sequel' to Shakespeare's Macbeth that appears to draw parallels between the English occupation of Scotland and the contemporary war in Afghanistan. The play was hailed as an instant classic when first seen in an RSC production at the Hampstead Theatre (one writer has even facetiously described Macbeth as "the prequel to Dunsinane"). A prolific writer, Grieg has also created English versions of plays by Strindberg, Euripides, and others, as well as the adaptation Hergé's Adventures of Tintin (2005).

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