“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players …”
But how do we take our place in the drama and understand our ever-changing roles? From Shakespeare’s infant, “mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms” through to the “second childishness and mere oblivion” of old age, Braham Murray draws on over half a century of experience in the theatre, to reflect, through the prism of the world’s greatest drama and its most insightful philosophers, on what it is to be human. Curious and compassionate in equal measure, he takes a contemporary voyage through the Seven Ages of Man, isolating what gives each one its unique character, mining each for enlightenment, inspiration and hope.
And in the end of this eventful history, he does find hope – if, like the great dramatists he cites - we acknowledge the choices we have, both for ourselves and for mankind; and we acknowledge, as the theatre has always done, that what binds us together is a shared humanity greater than the powers that seek to drive us apart.
About the author
Born into a Jewish family in London, Braham Murray struggled against his parents’ expectations that he should follow them into the world of commerce. Instead, following his phenomenal success directing the revue Hang Down Your Head and Die, first in Oxford and then the London’s West End and on Broadway, he became the youngest Artistic Director in the United Kingdom when he took over the Century Theatre aged 22.
In a career that has since spanned over four decades in the theatre and taken him all over the world, his work has included everything from new plays to classics to musicals to full-scale operas. He is a Founding Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre Company for whom he directed over 70 productions. The final one was Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with The Halle Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the pit. It is his passionate championing of the work of the Royal Exchange since its inception in 1976 that is perhaps his most remarkable achievement.
In January 2010 he received an OBE for services to drama.
His autobiography The Worst It Can Be Is a Disaster is published by Methuen Drama and How To Direct A Play is published by Oberon books.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published September 6, 2018
Size: 5 x 8 inches: 203 x 127 mm