Michelle Terry is an Olivier award-winning English actress and writer, known for her extensive work for Shakespeare's Globe, RSC and Royal National Theatre as well as her television work, notably writing and starring in the Sky One television series The Café. Terry took up the role of artistic director at Shakespeare's Globe in April 2018.
Terry aspired to be an actress from an early age. She attended an amateur dramatic society and took LAMDA exams at school in poetry, prose and spoken verse. At the age of fourteen she joined the National Youth Theatre. She read English literature at Cardiff University before training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 2004.
Terry made her professional debut in the touring and subsequent West End production of Blithe Spirit, playing the Maid and understudying Elvira. Her other theatre credits include The War on Terror, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, The Man Who Had All the Luck, Tribes and As You Like It. Her work at the National Theatre includes London Assurance, All's Well That Ends Well and England People Very Nice. She also appeared in broadcast versions of London Assurance and All's Well That Ends Well as part of National Theatre Live. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, Terry has appeared in productions of Days of Significance, Pericles, The Winter's Tale, The Crucible and Love's Labour's Lost, playing Rosaline. She was among the writers of Sudden Loss of Dignity, staged at the Bush Theatre in 2009.
Terry won critical acclaim for her work at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, for her performance of Rosalind in As You Like It. London's Financial Times wrote "I'm not sure it's possible to see Michelle Terry on a stage without falling a little in love with her. She has the intelligence, inventiveness and vivacity to play the character and the show simultaneously, not setting herself above the material but relishing her immersion in the role and inviting us to share it with her." She also appeared in productions of Love's Labour's Lost and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at that venue, both of which were released on DVD. On 24 July 2017 she was announced as its fourth Artistic Director, to succeed Emma Rice in April 2018.
Terry directed and starred in the lead role in a 2018 gender fluid version of Hamlet. The Spectator said in their review "No one but Ms Terry would have hired Ms Terry for this role. She’s a decent second-tier actress without any special vocal or physical endowments."
The Guardian called the play "A perfectly decent production and a welcome relief from the work of the previous Globe regime, which seemed to assume that the plays were a bit boring unless jazzed up."
The Stage said "It's a production that places clarity of verse and emotion over directorial fireworks. One of the most striking elements is Terry's costume. When she assumes her antic disposition, she also dons a white clown suit with a jagged lipstick grin. By making Hamlet a jester, it licenses her to behave in different ways. It shifts her status in the family. It grants her power and marks her apart. Laughter can be a weapon after all. It's an interesting idea that is under-explored."
Her television credits include episodes of Extras, Law & Order: UK and the Mike Bullen pilot Reunited, playing "Sara". She was co-writer, with Ralf Little, of the comedy drama TV series, The Café, which aired on Sky1 from 2011–13, in which she played "Sarah Porter". The series was set and filmed in her own hometown, Weston-super-Mare.
Terry is married to the actor Paul Ready. They have one daughter.
- Blithe Spirit Savoy Theatre: London (2005)
- As You Like It New Vic Theatre: Newcastle-under-Lyme (2005)
- The Crucible Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Stratford Upon Avon (2006)
- Pericles Swan Theatre: Stratford Upon Avon (2006/7)
- The Winter's Tale Swan Theatre: Stratford Upon Avon (2006/07)
- Love's Labour's Lost Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: London (2007)
- The War on Terror Bush Theatre: London (2008)
- 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Bush Theatre: London (2008)
- The Man Who Had All the Luck Donmar Warehouse: London (2008)
- Tribes Royal Court Theatre London (2010)
- England People Very Nice National Theatre: London (2009)
- All's Well That Ends Well National Theatre: London (2009)
- London Assurance National Theatre: London (2010)
- Light Shining in Buckinghamshire Arcola Theatre: London (2010)
- The Comedy of Errors National Theatre: London (2011/12)
- In The Republic of Happiness Royal Court Theatre: London (2012/13)
- Before the Party Almeida Theatre: London (2013)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: London (2013)
- Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (Love's Labour's Won) Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Stratford Upon Avon (2014)
- Privacy Donmar Warehouse (2014)
- As You Like It Shakespeare's Globe: London (2015)
- Cleansed National Theatre: London (2016)
- Henry V Regents Park Theatre: London (2016)
- Hamlet Shakespeare's Globe: London (2018)
- Macbeth Shakespeare's Globe: London (2019)
- Henry IV, Part 1 Shakespeare's Globe: London (2019)
|2005||Extras||Female Extra||Episode: "Patrick Stewart"|
|2009||Law & Order: UK||Debbie Grove||Episode: "Unloved"|
|2011||The Café||Sarah Porter||Also co-writer|
|2018||Marcella||Jane Colletti||7 episodes|
- Tripney, Natasha (29 May 2019). "Michelle Terry: 'This job has taught me that democracy is really hard' | Interviews". The Stage. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
- The Stage/Features/Showpeople/Michelle Terry; retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Michelle is right at home for new Sky comedy show Weston Mercury; retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "National Theatre Update". National Theatre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- GlobeLink :: Princess of France: Michelle Terry plays the Princess of France; retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Michelle Terry – Company Members – National Theatre Archived 7 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Michelle Terry | London Theatre Database Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Shuttleworth, Ian. "'As You Like It, Shakespeare's Globe, London - review'".
- Evans, Lloyd (2 June 2018). "No one but Michelle Terry would have hired Michelle Terry to play Hamlet". The Spectator.
- Billington, Michael (18 May 2018). "Hamlet/As You Like It review – Michelle Terry's double-edged Globe debut". The Guardian.
- Tripney, Natasha. "Hamlet starring Michelle Terry – review at Shakespeare's Globe". The Stage. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- BBC – BBC One Programmes – Reunited; retrieved 20 February 2011.
- She is currently playing the role of Luciana in the National Theatre's production of 'A Comedy of Errors'. Somerset seafront sitcom The Cafe ready for airing on Sky One | This is Somerset Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "M.E.N Theatre Awards: The Judges' verdict". City Life. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Terry wins Best Actress In A Supporting Role – Laurence Olivier Awards Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2011-03-16.