Dennis Kelly - Playwright EncyclopediaBy Daisy Bowie-Sell. Playwright Dennis Kelly is on a high. His plays, though littered with humour, often cover the murky edges of society, violence and the conflict between right and wrong. In his play Osama the Hero, a young boy chooses Osama bin Laden as his personal hero for a school project and as a result is hunted down and tortured by his neighbours. In Taking Care of Baby Kelly wrote a fictional verbatim play about a woman who is convicted of infanticide. This is certainly the case in his play DNA, which was first staged in at the National Theatre and is about to go on national tour for the first time.
What are your favourite memories of bringing it to the stage? I mainly remember it being a laugh. But it was a lovely time and a great learning curve to go on. The hardest thing was working out the structure. Roald Dahl is a master of his craft, but his craft is books.
Some people might have encountered Dennis Kelly as the writer of the musical Matilda , for which he won a Tony award earlier this year. Others might know him for his TV series Pulling and Utopia. But in his own mind Kelly is first and foremost a playwright. When we meet at the Royal Court, he's happily sifting through a stack of flyers for his new play, The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastroma s, which is just about to open. Kelly has a number of jagged, acerbic, political and often violent works to his name. His debut, Debris , began with a father crucifying himself in the family home; Osama the Hero showed how a climate of terror can lead neighbours to torture; The Gods Weep recast King Lear as the chief executive of a rapacious multinational.
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