Conrad Murray (Theatre-Makers, 2022)Cast of Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster. BAC Beatbox Academy, Battersea Arts Centre. Credit Lukas Galantay.

Conrad Murray

Shortlisted in 2022 for Theatre-Makers

Conrad Murray began his work in hip hop theatre on discovering he was unable to find books, shows or practitioners that related to his creativity and experience. Growing up on a south London council estate, Conrad was immersed in a community of many different demographics and felt actively excluded from mainstream theatre cultures. Starting his hip hop theatre company in 2006 with likeminded individuals from similar backgrounds, The Beatbox Academy is a home-grown performance collective for artists aged 8-29 years, pro-actively engaging with harder to reach groups in areas of significant deprivation in Wandsworth.

In 2018 Conrad formed The ‘Frankenstein’ collective from The Beatbox Academy, drawing together an auditioned group of skilled beatboxers, singers and rappers. Their show Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster interprets Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein from their own perspective as young people growing up in 21st-century Britain. The show was adapted for television with BBC Channel 4 in 2020.

Further works include Gl4-MATSON ESTATE, in which Conrad collaborated with young people involved in drug dealing, and Air B2B: Britain to Brazil Residency, in which he travelled to the Xingu Indigenous Reserve and co-created with the Kuikuro tribe, learning about their music and playing their instruments. Together they created a brand-new song, the first in 200 years in the tribe. Conrad recorded the new song, which consisted of them beatboxing, singing and rapping, on his laptop, and then created a music video with the people. In March 2022 Conrad is publishing Making hip hop theatre-Beatbox and Elements with Bloomsbury, and an anthology of three of his plays titled Beats & Elements : A hip hop theatre trilogy.