Noel Ó Briain is a poet, playwright, actor, director and producer, living in Camolin, Co Wexford.
Noel was born in Tralee Co Kerry in 1933. He has worked as a civil servant, an actor, a theatre, radio and television producer/director and a designer. He was Head of Drama for RTE for a period up to 1988. His first collection of poetry Scattering Day, 21 Sonnets and other Poems, published by Seven Towers. His readings include The Bank of Ireland Series, Feile Bealtaine in Kerry, The Samhlaiocht Easter Festival in Kerry, The Wexford Opera Fringe and Seven Towers Poetry and Prose Readings and Open mic series. Noel is currently working on a play - She which is a translation and adaptation of Brian Merriman's Cuirt on Mhean Oiche, a film script, with the working title of Mud, and a collection of humorous poems, Closet Poet. He has also completed a short verse play inspired by Synge's Deirdre of The Sorrows, entitled Áinle and Árdán Are Already Dead.
He played the part of Cranly in the premier of Hugh Leonard's Stephen D (an adaptation of Joyce's Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man) at the Gate Theatre. He also played the part of the IRA officer in the premier of Brendan Behan's An Giall in the Damer Hall in Dublin and designed the set for this production. The play was later translated into English as The Hostage and staged at The Royal Theatre Stratford by Joan Littlewood.
He has produced and directed many plays in the Damer Hall under the auspices of Gael Linn. Among others these included Gunna Cam agus Slabhra Óir by Seán Ó Tuama and Aggiornamento by Chriostóir Ó Floinn. He also designed the sets for these and many other production. He has directed Ulick O'Connor's Noh Plays at The Project. As a Radio Producer his drama productions have been selected as RTE's entries for the Prix Italia.
He has won a National Jacob's Award for his production and adaptation of Seán Ó Tuama's Judas Iscariot agus a Bhean.
He has worked as Producer, Director, Series Producer and Script Editor in numerous television one-offs, series and serial drama, often combining several of these skills in one production. These have included The Riordans, Bracken (which launched the career of Gabriel Byrne) Glenroe and Ros na Rún among many others. He also produced and directed the controversial series The Spike until it was withdrawn by RTE itself after complaints from the League of Decency and State interference. He has participated in a documentary in the Scannal series on RTE which deals with well known Irish scandals – including The Spike! (to be transmitted in Autumn 2008). He has won the Celtic Film Festival Drama Award for his production of Tom Murphy's screenplay, Brigit. He has devised and conducted numerous screenwriting courses. Among these was the initial course for the development of new writers for the series Ros na Rún on TG4. He has conducted several screen acting courses both independently and for the Gaiety School of Acting. His poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary magazines including The Kilkenny Magazine and Poetry Ireland. They have also been broadcast on radio in the short story slot and on Sunday Miscellany. His poetry collection Scattering Day 21 Sonnets and Other Poems was published by Seven Towers in 2007.