Since his debut on the Irish theatre scene with ""The Factory Girls"" (1982), Frank McGuinness has been his generation's most prolific and significant playwright, earning applause and awards throughout the English-speaking world (and beyond) for such plays as ""Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme"" (1984) and ""Someone Who'll Watch Over Me"" (1994). ""Contexts for Frank McGuinness's Drama"" is the most complete consideration of the playwright yet published, including discussion of his original stage work through ""Gates of Gold"" (2002) and highlighting the connections between McGuinness's creativity and the biographical, geographical, social and literary factors that have shaped his world. The study makes extensive use of the largely unexamined collection of primary materials McGuinness has deposited in the University College Dublin Library. It also draws heavily on extended interviews with the playwright and with directors and actors who have worked with him. A thorough examination of contemporary reviews and production histories completes the complex background against which both texts and productions are examined. Accessible to both new and experienced students of Irish theatre, the book balances close attention to text with awareness of production factors. It illuminates the work of a playwright whose themes and techniques are strikingly varied and reveals the importance of his ongoing legacy.