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Iain Finlay was encouraged to write at a young age by his uncle, Dr Finlay Macleod, a dramatist and writer of childrens’ books. His first experience of making theatre came at the National Gaelic Youth Theatre in the early nineties.

From there he attended The International School for Writers, Actors and Directors at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1994. He began submitting work to the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, who have been very influential in developing his work.

Iain Finlay's plays have been published by Nick Hern Books -

Iain Finlay has had fifteen plays performed professionally. This year his work is being performed in theatres in New York, Chicago, France, London and Edinburgh.

Some of the plays he has written are “The Pearlfisher”, “I was a Beautiful Day” and “Homers”, all initially performed at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh before touring the Highlands. All these plays have also found a life elsewhere.

An opera he wrote called “St Kilda”, about the island, will be performed by a Belgian company at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival in August 2009. This was a multi-discipline show which was shown simultaneously in five different countries - Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany and Austria in July 2007 and since then has toured in France.

In 2008 Iain Finlay worked with YMT:UK on a piece based on “The Silver Bough” by Marian MacNeill. The composer was Gerard MacBurney, the artistic director of the Chicago Symphony.

Iain Finlay is very interested in languages and as well as being bilingual, has a working knowledge of French. He did a version of the play “Un homme en faillite” by David Lesca in 2006. Entitled “Broke”, it was performed during the “Tilt” season at the Traverse Theatre. He has worked as a translator and adaptor on a number of works.

Iain Finlay’s plays are published by Nick Hern Books, London.


“the wildest, most unpredictable streak of surrealism I can ever recall seeing in a new Scottish play. Imagine a short story by Iain Crichton Smith mashed into a few pages of James Kelman and then entirely rewritten by Eugene Ionesco, and you might begin to get the picture.” (The Scotsman on Homers)

“MacLeod's creation is revealed as a dramatic version of a blackly beautiful epic hand-me-down folk ballad. Played over and over again, its inherent sadness finally becomes a thing of communal joy" (The Herald on The Pearlfisher)

“The Pearlfisher is a truly impressive 21st-century drama. And, like so many of the other plays Philip Howard has brought to life during his magnificent decade at the Traverse, it seems certain to find a place in the wider European repertoire of new plays that matter for the age we live in.”?(The Scotsman on The Pearlfisher).

Click here for information on other Iain Finlay Macleod plays. (Leads to IFM Play list)