Michelle Terry will be the next artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe. She takes over from outgoing director Emma Rice in April 2018.
Terry is an unexpected choice, as although she has acting and writing credits she has never directed a stage play. She does, however, have strong ties to the Globe, having appeared as Rosalind in As You Like It (2015) and as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013). She also directed three short films for the Globe’s The Complete Walk series in 2016, which marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Terry described Shakespeare’s work as “timeless, mythic, mysterious, vital, profoundly human and unapologetically theatrical” and added that she would help artists to “reclaim and rediscover not only Shakespeare, but the work of his contemporaries, alongside new work from our current writers.”
Aside from her work at the Globe, Terry is known for her television series The Café, which she co-wrote and co-starred in, and for her performance in Nina Raine’s Tribes, which won her an Olivier Award. As for Shakespeare, her turn as Henry V in last year’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production was widely praised by critics.
The appointment comes nine months after Rice announced she would be leaving the company. In an open letter Rice stated that: “I chose to leave because, as important and beloved as the Globe is to me, the board did not love and respect me back. It did not understand what I saw, what I felt and what I created with my actors, creative teams and the audience.”
Rice said the next artistic director needed to “ask the right questions” and remain “fierce and true” in order to be a success in the position.