Braham Murray

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Braham Murray, OBE (born 12 February 1943) is an English theatre director. In 1976 he was one of 5 founding Artistic Directors of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and the longest serving (he retired in 2012).[1]

Early years[edit]

Braham Murray was born in North London, the son of Samuel Goldstein. His name became Murray when his mother married again; to Philip Murray. He attended Clifton College, Bristol at the age of 13 where he acted in and directed school productions. He read English at University College, Oxford from 1961. He spent most of his time at University directing and eventually left Oxford in 1964 without taking his degree. His student productions included The Connection by Jack Gelber, The Hostage, A Man for all Seasons and Rhinoceros. While still at Oxford he co-wrote and directed Hang Down Your Head and Die, for the ETC (experimental theatre club) at the Oxford Playhouse. It opened on 12 February 1964 before transferring to the Comedy Theatre in London and later to Broadway.[2][3]

Foundation of the Royal Exchange Theatre[edit]

After leaving Oxford he directed the Winter's Tale at Birmingham Rep with Prunella Scales. Later, in September 1965, he was appointed artistic director of Century Theatre which became the resident company at the University Theatre in Manchester as well as touring the north west of England using a mobile theatre. In 1967 Michael Elliott and Caspar Wrede agreed to direct productions at the Century Theatre. Then in 1968 the three of them set up the 69 Theatre Company at the University where they produced plays until 1972 when the group started to look for a permanent theatre in Manchester. They were joined by Richard Negri, who was to design the new theatre, and James Maxwell and in 1973 a temporary theatre, The Tent, was installed in the disused Royal Exchange in Manchester. The success of The Tent led to the decision being taken to build the new theatre inside the Royal Exchange. The opening production, in September 1976, was The Rivals and was directed by Murray. He moved permanently to Manchester at this time, with his wife, the designer Joanna Bryant, and their family. She had already designed many of his productions and would continue to do so at the Royal Exchange.

He has continued to be an artistic director of the Company and has now directed over 60 productions.[2][3] In June 2011 he announced that he was to step down as artistic director in 2012.[4]


His productions include: -[2][3][5]

Royal Exchange[edit]

Other theatres[edit]


  • Murray, Braham (2007). The Worst It Can Be Is a Disaster. London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 978-0-7136-8490-2. 
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976 – 1998. The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Limited. 1998. ISBN 0-9512017-1-9. 


  1. ^ "Theatre History". The Royal Exchange Theatre. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976 – 1998
  3. ^ a b c "Braham Murray". The Royal Exchange Theatre. 
  4. ^ Stage
  5. ^ The Royal Exchange