Patrick Mason trained at the Central School for Speech and Drama, London. He was appointed fellow in Drama at Manchester University in 1974 and then Lecturer in Performance Studies. He first joined the Abbey Theatre as a director in 1977 and he was Artistic Director of the Abbey from 1993 to 1999.
As a freelance director in 1983 he directed The Crucifer of Blood at the Bristol Old Vic and A Woman Of No Importance, his first production at the Gate Theatre. In 1985 he directed Saint Joan in the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis and Heartbreak House and Innocence at the Gate Theatre. Other theatre work includes The Importance of Being Earnest, The School for Scandal and Gates of Gold at the Gate as well as Desire Under the Elms at Greenwich. He won a Harvey's Award for his production of Peer Gynt at the Gate Theatre in 1988.
He kept his association with the Abbey and Peacock Theatres over the years and amongst the many productions he directed there are Our Town, Mrs. Warren's Profession, You Never Can Tell, The Winter's Tale, The Cherry Orchard, Arms And The Man, Talbot's Box (which transferred to the Royal Court Theatre), The Factory Girls, The Gigli Concert, Too Late for Logic, The Silver Tassie and six Tom MacIntyre works at the Peacock including The Great Hunger. His production of The Great Hunger toured to Belfast, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Leningrad, Moscow, Philadelphia and New York.
His production of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa premiered at the Abbey before touring to the Royal National Theatre and transferring to the Phoenix Theatre in the West End, the Plymouth Theatre, Broadway, and a tour of Britain and Australia. He received a Tony Award for best director in 1992.
His most recent productions for the Abbey Theatre are Observe the Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme by Frank McGuinness, The Well Of The Saints by J. M. Synge, Brian Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come, Angels In America by Tony Kushner and The Only True History Of Lizzie Finn by Sebastian Barry, Macbeth, She Stoops To Folly by Tom Murphy, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde by Thomas Kilroy (also at the Barbican/London), The Wake by Tom Murphy, Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw and, most recently, She Stoops To Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, By the Bog of Cats by Marina Carr, Love In the Title and Da by Hugh Leonard, Dolly West's Kitchen by Frank McGuinness which transferred to the Old Vic Theatre, London and Too Late for Logic at the King's Theatre Edinburgh as part of the 2001 International Festival.
Other recent productions include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Arhus Theatre, Denmark.