Aodhan Madden

1954-2014; b. Dublin, son of Jim Dwyer, a self-educated builder; ed. Christian Brothers, North Brunswick St.; journalism at Rathmines College; worked as sub-editor, feature writer and drama critic for Irish Press in the 1970s; experienced traumas as a coming-out gay in Ireland and spent some time in St. Patrick’s Hospital; also worked for New Hibernia and Evening Press; poems Demons (1981); plays produced at Abbey/Peacock Theatre, The Midnight Door (1983), Sensations (1986), Remember Mauritania (1987), Josephine in the Night (1988); four plays at Dublin Theatre Festival, The Dosshouse Waltz (1985), Private Death of a Queen (1986), Sensations (1986), Sea Urchins (1988), Josephine in the Night (1988), Candlemas Night (1991);

plays on RTÉ, Remember Mauritania (RTE 1985), Obituaries (1991), Ladies in Waiting (1993), Searching for Gentleman Joe (1995); also stories on RTÉ; thrice winner of O. Z. Whitehead Award; thrice winner of Francis MacManus Radio Short Story Competition; nominated best new playwright of 1985 Dublin Theatre Festival by International Herald Tribune; short story collection Mad Angels of Paxenau Street (1990); his screenplay Night Train (1998; dir. John Lynch) won best actor award for John Hurt at the Verona Film Festival and nominated for Best European Feature at Brussels Film Festival, 1999; he issued a gonzo autobiography as Fear and Loathing in Dublin (2009); suffered a serious fall in 2009; a br. Paddy is also became a journalist. DIL

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Drama, Sensations and The Midnight Door, in New Irish Plays by Aodhan Madden ([Dublin]: Society of Irish Playwrights 1983, 1986); Do. [another edn.?] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1985), xiv, 102pp. Poetry, Demons and Other Poems (Gorey: Gorey Arts Centre 1981), [12]pp.; Short Fiction, Mad Angels of Paxenau Street (Dublin: Kildanore 1990), 219pp. Autobiography, Fear and Loathing in Dublin (Dublin: Liberties Press 2009), 184pp.

Fear and Loathing in Dublin (2009) - ‘[...] Aodhan Madden’s unforgiving and honest, sometimes melancholic but often blackly funny recollection of his struggles as a young man grappling with his sexuality and the cold comfort that alcohol provided. Starting his writing career as a journalist with The Irish Press, he eventually emerged from his dark times as a sucessful playwright, taking many of his themes from his battles with his own demons. In 1970s Dublin, transformation is everywhere: people have money in their pockets and wear the latest fashions. But in the pubs and clubs of the city, following the death of his mother, Madden is being crushed by the weight of his closet homosexuality a desperate place for a sensitive young man in that homophobic time and is struggling with alcoholism and paranoid delusions. After a series of surreal drunken “adventures” around the city, he checks himself in to St Patrick’s Hospital where his transformation begins. Madden writes movingly of his experiences in St Patrick’s hospital, his sometimes dubious friendships with his fellow patients including a drag queen and a murderer and his battles with the authorities and the drink. He tells of how he eventually got his life back on course and launched a successful career as a playwright. Finally, he writes with great tenderness about his father, who lovingly stood by him through the worst of his troubles. This bleakly comic memoir, reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, makes for gripping, enthralling reading from the first page to the last’. (see Abebooks - online; accessed 02.01.2015.)

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