Christopher Fitz-Simon

Life
b. Belfast [Christopher O’Connell Fitz-simon]; descendent of Daniel O’Connell and Protestant unionists; son of army officer in WWII Middle East) and placed in care of relatives during war; raised a Catholic and brought up in Monaghan, Dublin, Down, Tyrone and Clare; grad. TCD; editor of Icarus; chair of the Dublin University Players; worked in theatre and broadcasting in N. America; appt. drama producer with RTÉ TV; appt. artistic director of the Irish Theatre Company; literary manager and artistic director of Abbey and Peacock (National Theatre Society); author of a radio plays and dramatisations on Boucicault, Bowen, Colum, Forzano, Joyce, Forest Reid, Giraudoux, Somerville & Ross, Stoker and Wilde, and others, including Irish murders; issued The Arts in Ireland (1982), The Irish Theatre (1983); with Sanford Sternlicht, ed., New Plays from the Abbey (1999); acted as visiting professor at the University of Ulster, and completed a doctorate there, “Popular Irish Drama in the Decade Leading up to the Opening of the Abbey Theatre” (PhD Diss., UU Coleraine 2003); 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre (2003); lectures on Irish theatre in four continents; his play Speranza, about Oscar Wilde’s mother, conceived as a radio monologue, was produced by Little Elf at Andrew’s Lane Studio (Aug 28 2003); lectured at Princess Grace Irish Library, Spring 2003.

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Works
Theatre history, The Irish Theatre [Eason Heritage Ser., 26] (Dublin: Eason 1979), 24pp., ill. [ports.]; (The Arts in Ireland: A Chronology (Dublin: Gil & Macmillan 1982), xiv, 257pp. [Bibl., pp.248-250]; The Irish Theatre (London: Thames & Hudson 1983), 208p; The Boys: A Double Biography (London: Nick Hern 1994), 320p, [16]pp. [on Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards]; The Abbey Theatre: Ireland’s National Theatre the First Hundred Years (London: Thames & Hudson 2003), 208pp., ill.; Players and Painted Stage: Aspects of the 20th-century Theatre in Ireland (Dublin: New Island 2004), 200pp. [contribs. Nicholas Grene, Emer O’Kelly, Christopher Murray, Lynda Henderson, Joe Dowling, Alan Titley & Anthony Roche]. See also “Popular Irish drama in the decade leading up to the opening of the Abbey Theatre”, 3 vols. (PhD diss., University of Ulster 2004).

Autobiography, Eleven Houses: A Memoir of Childhood (Penguin Ireland 2007), 304pp. Miscellaneous, The Irish Village, with photographs by Robin Morrison & commentaries by Fitz-Simon (London: Thames & Hudson 1986), [128]pp., ill. [col., map]; The Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland, with photographs by Hugh Palmer (London: Thames & Hudson 2000), 208pp. [32 cm].

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Notes
Princess Grace Irish Library (Monaco): Christopher Fitz-simon - suitably attired in a green velvet jacket - lectured at the Library in Spring 2003 on the subject “‘Speranza’ - Irish Nationalist Poet and Mother of Oscar Wilde” to great applause.