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Terence David Hands CBE (born 9 January 1941) is an English theatre director. He founded the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and ran the Royal Shakespeare Company for thirteen years during one of the company's most successful periods. He also saved Clwyd Theatr Cymru from closure and turned it into the most successful theatre in Wales in his seventeen years as Artistic Director. He has received several Olivier, Tony and Molière nominations for directing and lighting.[1] He is one of Britain’s most respected theatre directors with an international reputation.[2]

Terry Hands
Terry Hands.png
Portrait by Fernand Michaud. Festival d'Avignon 1972.
Terence David Hands

(1941-01-09) 9 January 1941 (age 78)
Aldershot, England
OccupationTheatre director
Spouse(s)Josephine Barstow (1964-1967; divorced)
Ludmila Mikaël (1974-1980; divorced); 1 child
Julia Lintott (partner 1987-1997); 2 sons
Emma Lucia (present)

Early yearsEdit

Hands was born at Aldershot, Hampshire, England. He studied at Woking Grammar School, University of Birmingham before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art leaving with the gold medal for acting in 1964. He then established the Liverpool Everyman where he directed numerous productions, including a prominent production of Murder in the Cathedral.


Hands joined the Royal Shakespeare Company two years later in 1966 to run the Company's touring group, Theatregoround. He became joint Artistic Director with Trevor Nunn in 1978, and in 1986 sole chief executive. As Director Emeritus and Artistic Director he directed more productions during his 25 years there than any other director in the Company’s history. These included the entire History Cycle with Alan Howard, Much Ado and Cyrano with Derek Jacobi, Singer and Tamburlaine with Tony Sher, Loves Labours Lost with Ralph Fiennes, The Seagull with Simon Russell Beale, Winter’s Tale with Jeremy Irons, Othello with Ben Kingsley and David Suchet and the award-winning musical Poppy.[3]

In 1997, Hands became Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd (afterwards renamed Clwyd Theatr Cymru), which presents much of its work on tour in Wales and the rest of the UK, saving the theatre from closure. He was appointed CBE in the 2007 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama. In October 2001 he resigned from his position as an advisory director of the RSC.[citation needed].

In 2015 Hands left his post as Artistic Director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru after seventeen years in the post, having turned the theatre into the most successful in Wales.

His international directing credits include productions in Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, London, New York, Oslo, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna and Zurich. From 1975 to 1980 he was consultant-director of the Comédie-Française and is a Chevalier of Arts and Letters. Opera directing credits include Otello with Plácido Domingo (Paris Opera) and Parsifal (Royal Opera House).[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Hands was married to soprano Dame Josephine Barstow (1964–1967), and actress Ludmila Mikaël (1974–1980) with whom he has a daughter, actress Marina Hands. He has two sons, Sebastian and Rupert (also a director). In 2002 he married director, Emma Lucia.

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • 1985: Tony Award for Best Director of a Play - Much Ado About Nothing
  • 1985: Tony Award for Best Lighting Design - Much Ado About Nothing
  • 1985: Tony Award for Best Lighting Design - Cyrano De Bergerac[5]

Stage productionsEdit

Theatregoround – Touring RSC
RSC (Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Aldwych Theatre)
RSC at the Barbican Theatres and Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Chichester Festival
  • 1995: Hadrian VII, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • 1995: The Visit, Chichester Festival Theatre
Clwyd Theatr Cymru


  1. ^ "Who's Who in the Cast". playbillvault. Retrieved 23 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Green, Michael. "Mold Clwyd Theatr Cymru to stage Hamlet as artistic director's swan song". wikipedia. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Terry Hands". Clwyd Theatr Cymru. Retrieved 31 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Terry Hands". Clwyd Theatr Cymru. Retrieved 31 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Terry Hands". Playbillvault. Retrieved 31 May 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit