St John Greer Ervine (1883-1971), Playwright and writer
Sitter in 16 portraits
A clerk in a Belfast insurance office from seventeen, Ervine joined the Fabian Society and began to write, first for newspapers and then for the theatre. His first full-length play, Mixed Marriage, an exposé of Ulster sectarianism, was produced at the Abbey Theatre in 1911. He left Ireland in 1915, moving to London, where he built a reputation as a writer of drawing-room comedies, such as Anthony and Anna (1925), and The First Mrs Fraser (1929). Ervine returned to themes of Ulster in 1936 with one of his most popular plays, Boyd's Shop. As well as plays, he wrote a number of novels and biographies, including a study of his idol, George Bernard Shaw (1956).