Playwright Shay Linehan has died, just months after his adaptation of Maeve Binchy’s novel Light a Penny Candle earned raves at the Gaiety Theatre,
Throughout his life, the writer had work of his performed across the globe. While living in Zambia, he wrote and produced a number of stage plays that toured Southern Africa, including The Progressive Dinner Party, Headers and Footers, and The Angel Farm.
Meanwhile his play, The Cant, won the inaugural McGuire Prize and was produced in America to critical acclaim. There he also held the position of Playwright in Residence with The Irish Classical Theatre Company in Buffalo, New York.
Linehan also had great success in Ireland. He had several plays produced by RTE and twice won the PJ O’Connor Radio Drama Awards. Meanwhile, his work Goin’ Straight won the Gold Award for best broadcast drama of 2016 at the PPI Radio Awards.
As well as his hit adaptation of Light a Penny Candle, he also adapted another Binchy novel, Minding Frankie, for the stage in 2017. It ran too at the Gaiety to great acclaim.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media from those who knew and worked with the great writer. No details have been released regarding the circumstances of his death.
Ireland lost another talented playwright in Shay Linehan @IPSG Was lucky in life that Frank Allen introduced me over pints and chats in the Porterhouse . Two best friends for life. Rest in Peace Shay . Thinking of all your family & friends at this time. pic.twitter.com/5K533tQubP
— David Gilna (@irishplaywright) June 21, 2019
RIP to the wonderful writer Shay Linehan. A joy & honour to have worked on #LightAPennyCandle – a sad day.
— Kate Gilmore (@_kategilmore) June 21, 2019