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Brendan Murray grew up in Salford, Lancashire, the youngest of five children. Following a degree in Drama (Huddersfield Polytechnic, 1978) he trained as an actor at Drama Studio London and worked in regional repertory, commercial touring, fringe and young people’s theatre.

Between 1982 and 1985 he was Head of Theatre-in-Education at The Belgrade Theatre Coventry, writing and directing plays for schools, the studio theatre and the main stage. In addition, he has directed productions for The Brighton Festival/Glyndebourne Education, The Oval House, Doctor Fosters, The Crucible Studio/Vancouver Children's Festival, The Man In The Moon, Drayton Court Theatre, Theatre 503, The Hen & Chickens, The Minerva Theatre Chichester, The Albany Theatre Deptford, Oxfordshire (Touring) Theatre Company and Salisbury Playhouse.

Teaching includes work for The Department of Education, The Central School of Speech and Drama, Sheffield Hallam University, Rose Bruford College, The Actors' Institute and Drama Studio London, where he is a tutor and Associate Director. He’s run workshops for South Yorkshire Writers and Ransom Productions, Belfast and spoken at theatre conferences in the UK, Serbia and New York.

He was Writer-in-Residence at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (1989/90), under the ACGB Resident Dramatist Attachment Scheme and has since undertaken commissions for tutti frutti Productions, Proteus, Eastern Angles, New Perspectives, Glyndebourne Education, The Crucible Studio, Solent Peoples Theatre, Greenwich and Lewisham Young Peoples Theatre, Theatre Centre, The Sherman Theatre Cardiff, Hijinx , The Albany Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre For Children, SNAP, The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, The Grand Theatre Blackpool, Polka, Red Ladder, Jersey Arts Centre, Oxfordshire (Touring) Theatre Company and BBC Network radio. His work has been produced throughout the UK and in Ireland, Holland, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Mexico and the USA.

In 1997 he was awarded an Arts Council Bursary and nominated for a Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Children's Play and was runner-up for the John Whiting Award in 2000. In 2001 he won The Brian Way Award and in 2009 and again in 2012 The Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play: Children & Young People. He was the Visiting Gulbenkian Fellow at King's College Hospital (2002-03) and Artistic Director of Oxfordshire (Touring) Theatre Company from 2003 to 2008.

Like the good northerner he is, he lives in Brighton.