John Byrne

John Byrne has combined several careers - playwright, theatre designer and artist.

John "Patrick" Byrne (b. 6 Jan. 1940); Scottish playwright and artist. Probably best known for writing The Slab Boys Trilogy of plays about working-class life in Scotland, he has been described as the first postmodern poet from Paisley.

Byrne was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, where he grew up in the Ferguslie Park housing scheme and was educated at the town's St Mirin's Academy before attending Glasgow School of Art (1958–63). After the death of Byrne's mother, he was informed by a cousin that he was born of an incestuous relationship. He is thus the biological son of his mother, Alice, and his grandfather, Patrick McShane. Byrne first discussed this in early 2017.

Byrne has received several Honorary Doctorates: from the University of Paisley, from the Robert Gordon University Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, from the University of Dundee, and from the University of Stirling. In 2004, he was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Byrne was in a relationship with actress Tilda Swinton from 1989 to 2003. They have two children. ....

As an artist, Byrne's first London one-man show was held at the Portal Galley in 1967, while he was working as a carpet designer with A.F Stoddart in Elderslie. His work is held in major collections in Scotland and abroad.

Byrne occupies a unique position in Scotland's cultural life. He trained at Glasgow School of Art, which he left in 1963 as one of their star painters. But he found fame writing plays and television dramas such as The Slab Boys, Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin' Heart. Early in their careers, he worked with Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson and Swinton. Throughout this time, he continued to paint and his life is reflected... (
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First Collected by

Mohamed Ismail Abdalla


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