David Greig was born in Edinburgh in 1969. He spent much of his childhood in Jos, Nigeria during the 1970’s where his father worked in the construction industry. In 1980 his family returned to live in Edinburgh where he went to school. His first involvement with theatre was with Edinburgh Youth Theatre where he acted in a number of shows. In 1987 he went to Bristol University to study English and Drama.
He graduated from Bristol University in 1990 and began to work with Graham Eatough and Nick Powell as Suspect Culture on the Edinburgh Fringe. Over two years he wrote and directed five shows and was twice nominated for The Guardian Student Drama Award and won a Scotsman Fringe First for Stalinland.
In 1993 he moved to Glasgow where Stalinland was produced by the Citizen’s Theatre and he received my first professional commissions from The Traverse Theatre and The Royal Court. Since then he has written many plays, most of which have premiered in Scotland. From 2005 to 2007 he was the first Dramaturg of The National Theatre of Scotland.
Since his first main stage production ‘Europe,’ at The Traverse in 1996, his work has been produced extensively abroad. His plays have been translated and produced in most of the countries of Europe, The USA and Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan and Korea.
He continued my association with Suspect Culture through the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. With Graham Eatough, Nick Powell and Ian Scott he worked to develop a theatre process in which writing and narrative was part of but did not overwhelm the other aspects of production. Suspect Culture became a professional company based in Glasgow in 1995 with their first production ‘One Way Street’ at The Traverse. The company received a core funding in 1996 and thereafter they developed and produced new work to great acclaim in Scotland and Europe. Suspect Culture lost their funding in 2008 and are now dormant as a theatre company. Graham, Nick, Ian and David all continue to collaborate with each other, however, in work for other companies or in other contexts.
David has worked extensively as a workshop leader on projects to teach or develop playwriting. He has a particular relationship with writers in the middle east. He has worked extensively with playwrights in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco. In Damascus a group of writers with whom he worked went on to found ‘The Street’ – a group dedicated to producing and developing new work in Syria. In 2010 they produced a book ‘Stories of Spirit and Cement.’ For which David wrote the introduction. He also worked with April De Angelis on a major two year collaboration between the Royal Court Theatre and The British Council. The plays produced in that project were published in English and in Arabic and have been given performed readings New York, London, Beirut and Cairo.
From 2006 David has been on the board of The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.
He lives in Fife with his partner, Lucie and two children, Annie and Rory.