Linda McLean comes from Glasgow, Scotland. Her plays have won many awards. They include Every Five Minutes, Sex&God, Any Given Day, strangers, babies, Shimmer, Riddance, and One Good Beating.
Since her first production in 1997 she has been known as a playwright who experiments with form.
Her plays have been translated into many languages. An anthology of her work was published in France in 2015 by Actes Sud.
Linda is chair of the Playwrights' Studio, Scotland and is on the artistic board of Magic Theatre, San Francisco.
She is currently writing a play for Magic Theatre; a new play called Thingumy Bob for Lung Ha (a company for people with learning disabilities); and a Breakfast Play for the Traverse Theatre, called CtrlZ.
EVERY FIVE MINUTES
4F, 4M, various ensemble parts
Mo has returned home after 17 years of wrongful imprisonment and torture. His wife and friends had almost given up believing they would ever see him again. As the evening unfolds, however, they begin to understand that the Mo who left is not the man who has returned. Mo's experience of this simple family dinner is wildly different from theirs.
Premiered at Magic Theatre, SF (March 2014).
One by one we see into each of her relationships, apparently existing in separate worlds.
There’s Dan, the ever-patient husband; Duncan, the dying and irascible father; Roy, the internet date; Denis, the estranged brother; and Abel, the Child Protection Officer. May’s journey through these moments in their lives mirrors her desperate attempt at a future worth living.
Produced by The Traverse Theatre, Scotland (2007). US premiere with Rude Guerilla Theatre Company (2008). Subsequent productions at Shotgun Players & Steep Theatre Company (2013).
“…curiously compelling…[McLean] excels in an easy realism that offers up full-bodied portraits of people so familiar we might take them for granted, then proceeds to expose unexpected layers of comedy and dark tragedy beneath their surfaces.” – SF Gate
“An elegant and elliptical drama…STRANGERS sucks you in from the first fleeting flash of insight… [McLean has] such a stark, penetrating voice that you are willing to go wherever she dares to lead.” – Mercury News
“I have yet to see a McLean play that doesn’t leave me agitated that it ends when and where it does, leaving us hanging, but it’s not at all that her plays feel unfinished. It’s because their unresolvedness is so brutally effective.” – KQED
“…spare, elliptical and troubling…” - The Guardian
SEX & GOD
Four women from different moments in the 20th Century talk across time. Jane, a kitchen maid, the first in her family to move to the big city; Lizzie, passionate but unskilled and permanently dodging poverty; Sally, an early school leaver who escapes a dangerous relationship by working her way into a profession; and Fiona, first in her family to go to university and discover a world of bewildering choices.Premiered at Magnetic North (2012).
“(4 out of 5 stars)…as beautiful and delicate as a chamber concert.” – The Guardian
“(4 out of 5 stars) [Linda McLean] writes with such precision that it’s impossible not to be drawn in.” – The List
ANY GIVEN DAY
It’s 2pm in the East Side of Glasgow: Bill and Sadie are preparing for the arrival of their favorite person. It’s all going like clockwork until they discover they’ve forgotten the bread.
It’s 2pm in the West Side of Glasgow: two people are closing up the bar for the afternoon. A chance call opens up the opportunity for a future which they have stopped imagining. Linda McLean explores the fleeting nature of love and happiness set against a backdrop of violence and disappointment.
US Premiere at the Magic Theatre, SF March 29 – April 29, 2012
“With a Linda McLean play, you can bet on two things. One is characters who are held together by the bonds of family loyalty and the memory of some past trauma. The other is a mould-breaking dramatic structure that reflects the characters’ emotional fragmentation. In ANY GIVEN DAY, which is as bold, unnerving and fraught as anything she has written, you get both.” – The Guardian