Dublin Theatre Festival


Roddy Doyle

The Irish author Roddy Doyle (1958) is known for his novels The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, all of which were successfully made into films. Alan Parker directed The Commitments, the script of which was written by Doyle, and Stephen Frears made the other two parts of the Barrytown trilogy into films. In 1993, he won the Booker Prize with Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

In 1994, he wrote Family, a television series for the BBC. The main subject was domestic violence. Doyle later further developed the character that is the main focus of the last episode of Family, Paula Spencer. In The Woman Who Walked into Doors (1996), Paula tells her life-story. Doyle shows a completely different side of himself in this novel. There are no hilarious events written in a humorous style, but a direct story of a woman, Paula Spencer, who does all she can to keep her head above water. As in Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Doyle manages to portray life in a working class area of Dublin in a very authentic and gripping way with a stream-of-consciousness-technique.

Both the series Family and the book The Woman Who Walked into Doors caused quite a stir in Ireland. Doyle was reproached for depicting the abuse of women and alcohol as a 'daily routine' in Irish families. After the successes of his first novels, in which Irish working-class families are portrayed in an optimistic way, Doyle wanted to stress the fact that families like the Spencer family also exist: the family next door.


The Woman who Walked into Doors

Guess Who's Coming for the Dinner

The Playboy of the Western World

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