Shonagh Murray is a Glasgow-based writer, composer, musical director and singing teacher. Originally from Larkhall, she is passionate about making theatre that rediscovers history in ways that are unexpected, impactful, and heartfelt.
Murray studied Applied Music at the University of Strathclyde, specialising in contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre vocals. In 2017, she graduated from the Masters in Musical Directing programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and alongside fellow RCS graduate, writer & director, Lydia Davidson, co-founded the female-led theatre company Fearless Players which focuses on uplifting women in the theatre scene be it in story, performance or creative team.
Since the formation of Fearless Players, it has produced four pieces of theatre spanning various forms of storytelling. Armour: A Herstory of the Scottish Bard & Burns: A Lost Legacy, which Murray wrote, successfully concluded a full run of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 with four and five star reviews and being nominated for Musical Theatre Review's Best New Musical Award. For both shows, Murray received a special award for score composition from Musical Theatre Review.
During Lockdown, Murray and Davidson collaborated with writing duo O’Neill & Savage on an interactive, online pantomime; The Great Elf Escape: LIVE as part of The Ayr Gaiety’s Online Christmas Season 2020. More recently, Murray and Davidson worked with Alzheimer’s Scotland to make Saturdays Doon The J.M. as part of Dundee Rep’s festival This Is For You Dundee.
As musical director, Murray’s works include Anything Goes and The Wild Party (London College of Music 2019), Cinderella and Aladdin (Jordan Productions), as well as deputising for MD/Keys/Joan on SIX UK Tour. Most recently, Murray was Associate Musical Director on National Theatre of Scotland's musical adaption of Peter Mullen's multi-award winning cult film Orphans, and Musical Director on Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World with Kenny Wax Family Entertainment & MAST Mayflower Studios at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022.
In her capacity as a singer, Murray has performed live and in studios with fellow musicians such as Fat Suit, Roddy Hart, Tommy Reilly, Angus Munro, London Contemporary Voices, the Glasgow Gospel Choir, Hannah Jackson and more. Murray can be heard on the opening song of zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse, released internationally by Blazing Griffin, Parkhouse Pictures, Constellation Creatives and Creative Scotland.
Currently, Murray is working with Capital Theatres and Pitlochry Festival Theatre to bring her newest musical Nessie to the stage.
Photo credits: Liv Giddings & Tim Morrozzo