Mick Donnellan completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then he has worked as a novelist, journalist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2005 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia and Canada. While traveling he worked as a travel writer and Journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010).
Later, he established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy.”
Taking a quick step back into the fiction world, El Niño was published in 2012 and Mick is currently in negotiations to sell the film rights.
Moving slightly from rural settings but not themes, the company toured a fourth Play, Velvet Revolution. An intense two hander set in a stark urban landscape, it created interest in Mick’s work among the film industry. He followed Velvet Revolution with his fifth Play – Radio Luxembourg and it was immediately optioned by London Film Company Dixon/ Baxi/ Evans and adapted for the screen.
While the film was in development, Mick’s second novel – “Fisherman’s Blues.“ was published to great acclaim. As it rose up the ranks, and enjoyed positive reviews, Mick was taken on board as screenwriter on the Radio Luxembourg project.
After some months commuting to and from London, the script was locked down and a shoot organised in the Jordanian desert.
Titled Tiger Raid and Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it was accepted into the Tribeca film festival (New York) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh, and the Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.
Most of 2017 was spent working on the exciting screen adaptation of Shortcut to Hallelujah with Florence Films. Hot off the press, the screenplay is titled Sam and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. Set in the present day, Sam is drenched in Irish lyricism and modern day dark humour. The script has been been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.
Mick also enjoys teaching writing at the AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) in County Westmeath.
Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).
El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.