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Reid, Christina 1942-

REID, Christina 1942-

PERSONAL:

Born March 12, 1942, in Belfast, Northern Ireland; married 1964 (divorced 1987); three children. Education: Attended Queens University, Belfast, 1982-83.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Alan Brodie Representation, Ltd., 211 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HF, England; fax: 020-7917-2872.

CAREER:

Playwright. Worked in various office jobs in Belfast, Ireland, 1957-70; Lyric Theatre, Belfast, writer-in-residence, 1983-84; Young Vic Theatre, London, England, affiliated playwright, 1988-89.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Ulster Television Drama award, 1980, for Did You Hear the One about the Irishman … ?; Thames Television Playwriting award, 1983, for Tea in a China Cup; George Devine Award, 1986, for The Belle of Belfast City; Giles Cooper Award, 1986, for The Last of a Dyin' Race.

WRITINGS:

Did You Hear the One about the Irishman … ? (produced in New York, NY, 1982; produced in London, 1987), Methuen (London, England), 1989.

Tea in a China Cup (also see below; produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1983), Methuen (London, England), 1987.

Joyriders (also see below; produced in London, England, 1986), Methuen (London, England), 1987.

Joyriders, and Tea in a China Cup: Two Belfast Plays, Methuen (London, England), 1987.

My Name, Shall I Tell You My Name? (adapted from Reid's radio play; also see below; produced at Dublin Theatre Festival, 1989; produced in London, England, 1990), Methuen (London, England), 1997.

The Belle of Belfast City (produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1989), Methuen (London, England), 1989.

Les Miserábles (adaptation of the novel by Victor Hugo), produced in Nottingham, England, 1992.

Clowns (produced in Richmond, England, 1996), Methuen (London, England), 1997.

Reid Plays 1 (includes Tea in a China Cup, Did You Hear the One about the Irishman … ?, The Belle of Belfast City, My Name, Shall I Tell You My Name?, and Clowns), Methuen (London, England), 1997.

Work published in Best Radio Plays of 1986, Methuen (London, England), 1987.

RADIO PLAYS

The Last of a Dyin' Race (broadcast 1986), Methuen (London, England), 1986.

My Name, Shall I Tell You My Name?, broadcast 1987.

The Unfortunate Fursey (adaptation of the novel by Mervyn Wall), broadcast 1989.

Today and Yesterday in Northern Ireland (for children), broadcast 1989.

SIDELIGHTS:

An Irish playwright who hails from a long line of storytellers, Christina Reid draws on family traditions and her own experiences to tell the often neglected story of women's lives and experiences amid Northern Ireland's "troubles." Her stories often concern ordinary, working-class characters trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in the midst of the violence and mayhem that so often take center stage in Belfast. Did You Hear the One about the Irishman … ? concerns two idealistic lovers, one Catholic, one Protestant, who try to secede from the endless divisions and marry, despite the ominous warnings of their families. In Joyriders Reid tells the story of four young Irish Catholics, stuck in a cycle of poverty in the miserable Divis Flats housing development, and the social worker who spectacularly fails to set them on a better course. In one of her quieter but more powerful plays, Tea in a China Cup, Reid describes the efforts of three generations of Northern Irish Protestant women to maintain a sense of dignity, civility, and stability in the face of the violent struggles tearing their society apart. "Through the female characters' custom of tea-drinking Reid both exemplifies and critiques the social relationships of the women themselves and the traditional values that they eternalize," explained Joanna Luft in Modern Drama. This is true of much of Reid's work, which dramatizes the intersection of normality and horror, despair and humor, in so much of Northern Ireland.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Contemporary Dramatists, sixth edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Schrank, Bernice, and William W. Demastes, Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995: A Research and Production Sourcebook, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1997.

PERIODICALS

Modern Drama, September, 1987, Diderik Roll-Hansen, "Dramatic Strategy in Christina Reid's Tea in a China Cup," pp. 389-395; summer, 1999, Joanna Luft, "Brechtian Gestus and the Politics of Tea in Christina Reid's Tea in a China Cup," p. 214.

ONLINE

Princess Grace Irish Library Web site,http://www.pgil-eirdata.org/ (September 29, 2004), "Christina Reid."*

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