Anthony Neilson (born 1967 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish playwright and director commonly associated with "in-yer-face theatre" and is known for his collaborative way of writing and workshopping his plays. His work is characterised by the exploration of sex and violence.
Though often considered a pioneer of In-yer-face theatre he has stated that he has "never liked the term because it implies an attempt to repel the audience, which was never my aim" and instead prefers his work to be categorised as "'experimental' theatre".
He began his career at the Finborough Theatre, London.
Neilson studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama but was thrown out for "insubordination", now unoccupied he entered a BBC young writers' competition and won which started him on the path of becoming a writer.
In 2009, his play Stitching was banned by the Maltese State for Obscenity and Blasphemy. A Court Case on the issue is still pending. However, the outcry following the case led to the dismantling of Censorship Laws in Malta and to the new Labour Government proposing to remove Obscenity and Blasphemy laws for works of Art.
Neilson has more recently moved into directing with his first feature film The Debt Collector in 1999 which won the Fipresci (International Critics) Award at the Troia International Film Festival. As his writing work involves collaborations he has a massive directorial role in the creation of his plays but in 2007 he was credited as director of his play God in Ruins at the Soho Theatre. At the RSC he directed the world premiere of The Drunks by the Durnenkov Brothers in 2009. In 2010 he directed Caledonia by Alistair Beaton at the Edinburgh Festival.
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland November 2016 (adaptation of Lewis Carroll's works) Royal Lyceum Theatre
- The Haunting of Hill House 2015 Everyman and Playhouse
- Narrative 2013 Royal Court Theatre
- Sixty Six 2011 Bush Theatre (short piece)
- Get Santa! 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre
- The Seance 2009 at the National Theatre as part of Connections
- Relocated 2008 at the Royal Court Theatre upstairs
- God in Ruins 2007 at the Soho Theatre
- Realism 2006 at the Edinburgh International Festival
- The Wonderful World of Dissocia 2004 at the Royal Lyceum Theatre
- Twisted 2003 at the Theatre Workshop at the Edinburgh Fringe
- The Lying Kind 2002 at the Royal Court Theatre downstairs; also adapted in France in 2013 by Jean-Luc Moreau as Les Menteurs, starring comedy duo Chevallier et Laspalès in the role of the policemen.
- Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness 2002 at the Drum Theatre
- Stitching 2002 at the Traverse Theatre
- The Censor 1997 at the Finborough Theatre
- Hoover Bag 1996 at the Young Vic Theatre
- Hereditary 1995 at the Royal Court Theatre
- The Night Before Christmas 1995 at the The Red Room
- The Year of the Family 1994 at the Finborough Theatre
- Penetrator 1993 at the Traverse Theatre
- Normal: The Düsseldorf Ripper 1991 at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival made into a film Angels Gone
- Welfare My Lovely 1990 at the Traverse Theatre
- The Colours of the King's Rose (radio play)
- A Fluttering of Wings (radio play)
- Twisted (radio play)