Tom Magill

Tom Magill ESCTom Magill is an award-winning Filmmaker, drama facilitator, actor, writer, director and producer. He specialises in Theatre of the Oppressed and Shakespeare using theatre methods for transformation in community and prison settings. Tom was Augusto Boal’s representative in N.Ireland. After training with Michael Bogdanov, Tom became his representative in Northern Ireland and set up ESC. Tom is currently part-time Artistic Director with the Educational Shakespeare Company Ltd (ESC) that he co-founded in 1999.

Watch a short film of Tom’s backstory here or read Release from Rage – Tom Magill’s backstory, published in Saligia 7, Holland 2015.

 Awards: Including awards as a film director:

–      Justice in the Community Award, Department of Justice, Northern Ireland, (2011)

–      Mickey B – Roger Graef Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, Koestler Awards, (2008)

–      Inside Job (2003/4)
 Arthur Koestler Award for prison drama: A 15-minute drama about a bank robbery organised from within a prison with the unlikeliest of suspects. (2004)

–      The Big Question (2005/6)
A documentary commissioned by the HMP Maghaberry about the effect of incarceration on prisoners’ families. This won the Arthur Koestler Award and the Royal London Society Merit Award 2006 for prison documentary.

–      Bridging The Divide
This 4 year project was a partnership between Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast and ESC. This project brought together young people from divided communities in NI to make short digital films. Films have received Impetus Human Rights Awards, (2005, 2006, 2007)


Filmmaker Prison experience:

Drama facilitator in Maghaberry prison. Director on Mickey B, Winner of Roger Graef Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film at the 2008 Arthur Koestler Awards, Director of The Biq Question and Inside Job First prizewinner in the Arthur Koestler Video Awards 2006 and 2004 a Royal London Society Merit Award.


International Conference screenings and presentations as a filmmaker:

Tom has presented his film work in Ireland, Britain, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Israel, USA, Canada, Nigeria, and South Korea.

 Work within the criminal justice system

Drama facilitator in HMP Maghaberry 2003-2009:

Working with Ordinary Prisoners, Real IRA, and Continuity IRA etc. Design/delivery of Survival Skills for prisoners in HMP Maghaberry.

Drama facilitator in HMP Maze 1994-2000:

Director of Dramatised adaptation of Bobby Sands Epic Poem, The Crime of Castlereagh, performed by IRA prisoners in H Block 4.

Co-design/delivery of modules on Culture Identity and Representation with IRA, INLA prisoners in HMP Maze.

Borders of Belonging with UDA/UFF ex-prisoners.

Multimedia exhibition of prison experience with UVF ex-prisoners.


Filmmaker in the Community experience:

Drama facilitator for Drama documentary film projects charting young people’s lives at sectarian interfaces throughout Belfast. Tom has directed many short film projects with youth at risk, substance abusers, homeless youth, medically retired prison officers and widows.


Training Qualifications

Foundation Training in Nonviolent Communication 2005

Beyond-Einstein/Socratic Method – Certified Trainer 2003

Arts & Business Certified Arts Based Trainer 2002


Academic Qualifications:

M.A. Cultural Studies Leeds University 1988-90

B.A. (Hons) Drama and Theatre Studies Birmingham University 1979-8

Writing experience

Winner of writer’s bursary from Belfast City Council 1997. Extensive publications.

 Articles and chapter on Mickey B in PRINT:

–      Forthcoming: Outer speares: Shakespeare, intermedia, and the limits of adaptation, ‘Macbeth becomes Mickey B in maximum security.’ Edited by Daniel Fischlin, University of Guelph, published by Cambridge Scholars Press (2013)

–      Theatre for Change, Landy R.; Montgomery D. ‘Drama and theatre in Social Action: Applied Theatre: Mickey B. Published by Palgrave MacMillan 2012.

–      Magill,T and Marquis Muradaz, J, ‘The Making of Mickey B’ in Dramatherapy and Social Theatre: Necessary Dialogues, edited by Sue Jennings (London: Routledge, 2009)

–      Theatres of the Troubles: Theatre, Resistance and Liberation in Ireland (Exeter: Exeter Performance Studies, 2008) by Bill McDonnell The Crime of Castlereagh,

 University teaching experience

Visiting Lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria 2000; University of Duisburg, Germany 1997

Taught Theatre Studies at the Department of Media and Performing Arts, University of Ulster 1996-1999 and at Trinity College Dublin 1993.

Taught on the MA theatre programme at UCD 1993.


Professional acting experience

Lead Actor with Hooligans Edinburgh Fringe First & Perrier Pick of the Fringe Awards 1986.