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Carey Harrison


Carey Harrison

Carey Harrison
Born 1944 (age 69–70)
London, England
Occupation Novelist, playwright, radio dramatist
Nationality  United Kingdom
Children Chiara, Rosie, Faith & Sam, and stepdaughter Zoe Lambe

Carey Harrison (born 1944) is an English novelist and dramatist.


Harrison was born in London to actors Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer,[1] and raised in Los Angeles and New York, where he attended the Lycée Français. Subsequently, in Britain, he attended Sunningdale School, Harrow School, and Jesus College, Cambridge.

His first play, Dante Kaputt, was staged at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, in 1966.[2] Subsequent plays were premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Stables Theatre Club in Manchester, where Harrison was Resident Playwright during 1969 and '70. His drama output for radio and television includes numerous award-winning plays,[3] among them the WorldPlay award-winner in 2005 for the best play from an English-language broadcaster, worldwide. This play, Hitler in Therapy, was Harrison's 100th drama to be recorded in a UK studio. A more recent play, A Cook's Tour of Communism, was broadcast by the BBC World Service in 2008. His most recent radio drama, Breakfast With Stalin, was premiered in 2010 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koeln in Germany, where 16 of Harrison's plays have been broadcast in translation. During 2009, a new stage play, Scenes From a Misunderstanding, a comedy about the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was premiered at the Jewish Theatre Festival in Manhattan, and subsequently re-mounted at the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY, along with Bad Boy, a companion piece written for the New York cast. A subsequent play, Magus, was staged by The Woodstock Players in June 2010, and another, Midget In A Catsuit Reciting Spinoza, in June 2011. His next play, Hedgerow Specimen, was staged by The Woodstock Players in June 2012. Two new plays for the Woodstock Players, I Won't Bite You: an Interview with the Notorious Monster, Dorothea Farber, and Rex & Rex, were premiered in repertoire in June and July 2013. 17 hours of Harrison's work have been seen on Masterpiece Theatre, including the miniseries Freud.[4]

He is the author of 40 stage plays and 16 novels, most notably Richard's Feet, published by Holt in the U.S. and by Heinemann in Britain,[5] winner of the Encore Award from the UK Society of Authors. Harrison has received numerous grants from the UK Arts Council, and his prizes include Sony Radio Academy Awards, the Giles Cooper Award, the Prix Marulic, the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play, the Prix Italia Silver Award and the Best Play award from the Berlin Akademie der Kuenste, as well as two nominations (2005 and 2007) for the Pushcart Prize for Journalism. His work has been translated into thirteen languages. His output includes published translations from French, Italian, German and Spanish authors, and performed translations from the works of Pirandello, Goldoni, Feydeau and the late Gert Hofmann; most recently he published 20 Poems from the Arabic of Firas Sulaiman, in Banipal, the UK magazine of contemporary Arabic writing. From 2005 to 2011 he contributed a monthly essay on linguistic trends in The Vocabula Review, and since November 2011, a column on fiction-writing in Roll magazine, online. Harrison's essays have appeared in magazines as diverse as New Politics: a journal of socialist thought, and Chronicles: a paleoconservative magazine of American culture. He has also been a book reviewer for numerous newspapers and journals including the San Francisco Chronicle,[6] the Chicago Tribune, the New York Sunday Times[7] and the London Review of Books.

A new opera based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, to music by Nolan Gasser, with a libretto by Harrison, was commissioned by the San Francisco Opera House in 2010 and premiered on March 1st 2013, playing to sold-out audiences. Three further Opera Companies are currently planning productions of the opera.

Harrison lives in upstate New York with his wife, artist Claire Lambe, and youngest daughter, and is Professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is currently Artistic Director of The Woodstock Players Theater Company. Under the name Ustaz Omar Bey he is Bishop of Woodstock in the Moorish Orthodox Church of America.

Notable works


  • Freud (1984)
  • Richard's Feet (1990)
  • Cley (1991)
  • Egon (1993)
  • Dog's Mercury (2005)
  • A Perfect Innocent (2005)
  • Justice (2005)
  • Personal Assistant (2006)
  • Clear To Kill (2006)
  • As An Unperfect Actor On The Stage (2006)


  • Dante Kaputt! (1966)
  • Twenty-Six Efforts at Pornography (1968)
  • Servant of Two Masters (from Goldoni) (1978)
  • In a Cottage Hospital (1969)
  • Wedding Night (from Gert Hoffmann) (1969)
  • Lovers (1970)
  • Shakespeare Farewell (1970)
  • The Bequest (1971)
  • Manoeuvres (with Jeremy Paul) (1974)[8]
  • Madcap (from Pirandello) (1976)
  • I Never Killed My German (1979)
  • A Short Walk To The Stars (with Jeremy Paul) (1979)
  • Visitors (with Jeremy Paul) (1980)
  • A Night on the Tor (1980)
  • A Suffolk Trilogy: 3 Plays for Radio (1982)
  • Who's Playing God? (1983)
  • I Killed Jacques Brel (1984)
  • From the Lion Rock & the Sea Voyage Trilogy: Plays for Radio (1989)
  • Mr Pope's Toilet (1990)
  • The Water-Cure (1991)
  • Newton In Love (1992)
  • Last Thoughts Upon St. Paules (1993)
  • Self-Portrait With Dog (1993)
  • A Walk in the Bois (1993)
  • The Empress Wu, The Concubine Wang (1994)
  • St. Agnes' Eve (1995)
  • For A Son (1995)
  • A Call From The Dead (1995)
  • The Psychiatrist's Tale (1996)
  • East of the Sun (2000)
  • Richard's Feet (2003)
  • Hitler in Therapy (2005)
  • A Cook's Tour of Communism (2008)
  • Breakfast With Stalin (2008)
  • Scenes From a Misunderstanding (2009)
  • Bad Boy (2009)
  • Magus (2010)
  • Midget In A Catsuit Reciting Spinoza (2011)
  • Hedgerow Specimen (2012)
  • Rex & Rex (2012)
  • I Won't Bite You: an Interview with the Notorious Monster, Dorothea Farber (2012)


  • The Sea Change (1965)
  • Sabbatical (1968)
  • The Godson (1981)
  • Imaginary Friends (1981)
  • Freud (1984)
  • Jumping The Queue (1984)
  • I Never Killed My German (1986)
  • French Cricket (with Jeremy Paul) (1986)
  • William (1987)
  • Cley (1988)
  • Borgia (1990)
  • Egon (1995)
  • Breaking Up (Is Hard To Do) (2007)
  • The Stand-In (with John Keller) (2008)


External links

  • Internet Movie Database

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