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Heno Magee (1939-2016)

‘[Hatchet is] a work of stark and brutal realism . . . it has moment of rare, sensitive writing and others where Heno Magee lets the tragedy roar through terrible hate.’

                                               — Sunday Press

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Heno MageeHeno Magee was born in Dublin in 1939. He left school at fourteen to become a messenger boy. Later he joined the R.A.F. and traveled widely for five years before returning to Dublin to work in a factory. In 1972 he retired to devote himself entirely to writing.

In 1976 he received an Abbey Theatre bursary and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His five plays include I’m Getting Out of This KipHatchet (published by The Gallery Press in 1978) and Red Biddy which have been produced on stage and television. He also worked as a theatre critic for The Catholic Standard.

Heno Magee died in December 2016.


This work of stark and brutal realism is set in inner city Dublin in the early 1970s. Its central character is Hatchet Bailey, a tough violent creature whose wife strives to escape the poverty of her environment. Heno Magee’s powers of authenticity and authority highlight the contemporary relevance of this perennially powerful and popular play.

€10.00 pb

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