Owen is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor. Owen has written and performed seven one-man plays and has won a string of awards including three Fringe Firsts at the Edinburgh Festival. The Herald Angel award for best play and the LWT writers award for best comedy.
He has toured his stand-up and one –man plays in Ireland, America, Canada and Australia to critical acclaim performing at the West Beth theatre, New York, Andrews Lane theatre Dublin. The Hudson back-stage theatre, Los Angeles. The Harbour front theatre, Toronto, the Wellington Opera House and the Town Hall theatre Melbourne. He has written and starred in three other plays, Dead Meat, Travelling Light and Patrick’s Day with his former writing partner Sean Hughes, winning a Fringe first and the Edinburgh Festival critic’s award for best comedy. In 09 he adapted the Shawshank Redemption for the stage which ran at the Gaiety theatre in Dublin and The Wyndams theatre in London’s West End.
‘A very funny human being just go and see him’. The Glasgow Herald.
‘To describe what O’Neill does as Stand-up does not do him justice. This man is not only funny he’s a modern day soothsayer’ The New York Post
His debut feature film ARISE AND GO NOW a dark comedy about priests, pigeons and the IRA was adapted from his short story WB YEATS AND ME and was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting.) (Slumdog millionaire) It was screened as part of the BBC Film on 2 series. ‘O’Neill has scored a fine debut. His writing is reminiscent of the plays of Sean O’Casey and the films of John Ford.’ Sheridan Morley. The Times.
His short film Shooting to Stardom, which was adapted from his short story The Night Bus and directed by Kieron J Walsh won the best Irish short at the Cork film festival in 1999. In 2006 five of his seven one-man plays were adapted by him and aired on BBC Radio Four’s ‘Late night theatre’ slot.
He has written and directed The Basket Case which was adapted from his short story of the same name published in 2004 by Random House. It won Best Short Film at the 2008 Boston Film Festival.
Owen also co-produced and had the original idea of staging the classic American play Twelve Angry Men using twelve stand-up comedians. The play received rave reviews and holds the record for the fastest sell out in the history of the Edinburgh Festival it went on to tour Australia and New Zealand and due to its success was followed the next year by One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Christian Slater. This later transferred to the West End and ran for six months.
His book of Poetry Volcano Dancing was published in 2006. ‘He has the turn of phrase of Roddy Doyle and the darkness of Patrick McCabe.’ The Independent. ‘O’Neill is never anything less than an excellent intelligent writer.’ The Stage.
In Sep 2010 Owen won best actor for his off Broadway performance as ‘Nathan’ in his latest one-man play ABSOLUTION. The play also won best director for Rachel O’Riordan.
‘A white knuckle, emotionally searing piece of theatre’. The New York Times.
Owen’s other acting roles including theatre, film and TV
08 Nathan. Absolution Dir Rachel O’Riordan
06 Dale Harding One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Dir Tamara Harvey
05 Roy The Odd Couple Dir Guy Masterson
05 Dale Harding One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Dir Terry Johnson
05 George Rayburn The Bill Dir Ashley Pharoh.
04 Juror no 8 Twelve Angry Men Dir Guy Masterson
04 The Dad Jonjo Mickeybo. Dir Terry Loan.
03 The Tax man The General Dir John Boorman
1999 Dogberry. Much Ado about nothing Dir John O’Hare
1998. Rory O’Connor. Michael Collins Dir Neil Jordan