The Beloved Son presented by Murray Watts

The Beloved Son presented by Murray Watts

Henri Nouen (1932 – 1996) was a Dutch, Catholic priest, psychologist, and professor who reached the heights of academic success at Yale and Harvard before abandoning everything to join the community of L’Arche, Daybreak in Toronto. He became part of a life-sharing movement, seeking to make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, exploring their unique talents and creating a welcoming home of friendship and belonging. To some Henri Nouen put his brilliant career into reverse, risking the loss of reputation, to others his life was a prophetic challenge to church and society. The Beloved Son is a moving solo performance, exploring hope and longing, family dynamics, sexual and emotional crisis, and the profound insights of a man who became one of the greatest spiritual writers of the 20th century.

Murray Watts
In a career lasting nearly 50 years, Murray Watts has written many plays for theatre and radio and numerous screenplays for TV and film. His work as a playwright, screenwriter and children’s writer has won him awards nationally and internationally.

He was one of the founding directors of Riding Lights Theatre Company. Screenplays range from ‘The Dream’ for BBC starring Jeremy Irons to The Miracle Maker for S4C/BBC/ICON, featuring the voices of Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt and Julie Christie.

The Miracle Maker won the Movieguide Epiphany Award as the most inspirational film on US TV in 2000 His work as a playwright has been seen in major theatres throughout the UK and in the West End. Theatre awards include the LWT Plays on Stage Award for ‘The Fatherland’, his play set in Soweto staged by Bush Theatre at Riverside Studios in 1989. In 2012 The Kings Head in London hosted a season of his place.

One of these plays, ‘Mr Darwin’s Tree’ was premiered in Westminster Abbey in 2009. Both ‘Mr Darwin’s Tree’ and ‘Fire From Heaven’, a play about Michael Faraday, have been toured with Andrew Harrison throughout the US. Murray continues to write from his home in the far north of Scotland where he is director of the Wayfarer Trust, an arts charity based at Freswick Castle.

Andrew Harrison
Andrew began his career with Riding Lights Theatre Co. in 1980.

He made his repertory debut in Exeter playing the leads in A Chorus of Disapproval and Serious Money. Other theatre credits include Glyn and It with Dame Penelope Keith on national tour, the premier production of Peter Nichols’ Blue Murder and the West End production of Pinero’s Trelawny of the Wells with the late Sir Michael Hordern. Andrew is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s drama department.

Film credits: An Ideal Husband, Dorian Grey, The Sea Change and A Little Loving.
For TV: The Life of Pepys, Miss Marple, You Rang M’Lord? The Bill, Birds of a Feather, Beyond Narnia and Summer in Transylvania. With Murray Watts he has created six solo shows, among them Mr. Darwin’s Tree which premiered in Westminster Abbey in 2008.

The show has subsequently toured extensively in the USA and has been presented in colleges in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Nairobi and throughout the UK. “Fire From Heaven” – the life of Michael Faraday – opened in Oxford in 2021 and has since also toured in the USA. The Beloved Son is their latest collaboration.