EXCLUSIVE: Drama & Me with Braham Murray

An exclusive Drama & Me interview with celebrated director Braham Murray, in advance of his appearance at PERFORM, Olympia – this Friday 8-Sunday 10 March. Come and see TD in the Teaching Drama Teacher’s Area for talks and networking events all weekend. 

Braham Murray (colour)

Drama & Me … with Braham Murray

What is your occupation?
Theatre director.

Where did you study/train?
I didn’t. Directors often don’t. They just do it!

What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The first time I really pulled off a Shakespeare. It was Hamlet with Robert Lindsay. People queued up from four in the morning to get tickets. Eight weeks at The Exchange, six weeks on tour, three weeks at The Barbican, not a seat unsold.

What did you think of the drama lessons you received at school?
I had no drama lessons at school, so I can’t comment! The school was very active in drama with school plays and house plays and I started directing there, but there was never any ‘education’ as such.

What do you think about the state of drama education today?
Equally, I’m afraid that I have no knowledge about education in schools today. My only knowledge is of undergraduate courses because of the treatment my book got from Methuen’s advice panel which led me to discover a disturbing picture of an industry peopled with the at least second rate who purported to teach directing which they had little idea about! There are of course honorable exceptions such as Paul Jones at Stafford.

What was the last production you saw?
Old Money, starring Maureen Lipman at Hampstead Theatre.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Two people: Stanislavski and Casper Wrede who was one of my colleagues at the Royal Exchange.

What’s next for you? 
My masterclass at PERFORM of course. A new musical or a French comedy or a new Brad Fraser or a movie. Whichever comes through first!

What would you say to a student considering a career in drama?
If you’re not absolutely in love with it, don’t do it.