Leading stage actor Michelle Terry has been announced as the new artistic director for Shakespeare’s Globe from next April.
The Olivier Award winner has appeared to great acclaim in numerous Shakespeare productions at the Globe and the National Theatre and most recently starred as the eponymous king in Henry V at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
She will take over from Emma Rice who last October announced her resignation only six months after arriving in the role. Michelle will become artistic director designate in October and then take over fully in April next year.
Michelle said: “The work of Shakespeare is for me timeless, mythic, mysterious, vital, profoundly human and unapologetically theatrical. There are no other theatres more perfectly suited to house these plays than the pure and uniquely democratic spaces of The Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
“I am so proud and excited that I will be in the privileged position where I can offer artists the opportunity to come together to reclaim and rediscover not only Shakespeare but the work of his contemporaries, alongside new work from our current writers. For us to then share those stories with an audience that demands an unparalleled honesty, clarity and bravery, is all a dream come true.”
At the Globe, Michelle has starred as Rosalind in As You Like It, as Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as the Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost. She is an associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she has appeared in Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Winter’s Tale and Pericles, while at the National she has appeared in All’s Well That Ends Well and Comedy of Errors.
She has also done plenty of work outside of Shakespeare, including new plays, winning an Olivier Award in 2011 for her role in the Royal Court production of Nina Raine’s Tribes. A graduate of RADA, she also wrote and starred in the Sky One TV series The Café with Ralf Little.
Although she has no professional experience as a stage director, Michelle directed Richard III, King John and As You Like It in 2016 for The Complete Walk, a series of short films created as part of the Globe’s activities to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Neil Constable, chief executive of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “I am delighted to announce Michelle Terry as the Globe’s next artistic director. Audiences have loved her sparkling and intelligent performances on our stage over the years – now they will have the opportunity to see her fresh artistic vision come to life as she moves into a new phase of her impressive career.”
She follows in the footsteps of actor Mark Rylance, who was the Globe’s first artistic director from 1995 to 2005, followed by Dominic Dromgoole until 2016.