Martin McDonagh (born 26 March 1970) is a contemporary Irish playwright. He was born in Camberwell, London, to Irish parents. His mother (originally from Killeenduff, Easky, County Sligo) and his father (originally from Lettermullen, Connemara, County Galway) later moved back to Galway, leaving Martin and his brother (screenwriter John Michael McDonagh) in London, where Martin began collecting unemployment benefits at age 16. During visits to Galway in the summers, McDonagh became acquainted with the dialect of English spoken in western Ireland, which he would later put to work in his plays. His ironic combination of coarse country language, primal symbolism and black humour represents a peculiar fusion of the work of John Millington Synge with the modern drama of Harold Pinter, David Mamet and British television comedy. He has been awarded Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for Most Promising Playwright in 1996. His dramatic corpus to date incorporates two dark comedic trilogies, The Galway Trilogy (The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West) and The Aran Islands Trilogy (The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Banshees of Inisheer), and the dark fantasy, The Pillowman, as well as two prize-winning radio plays, including 'The Tale of the Wolf and the Woodcutter'. In March 2006 he won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter, a film he wrote and directed.