Imaginary Forces: Q&A with Michelle TerryIn 2018, we’ve…

Imaginary Forces: Q&A with Michelle Terry

In 2018, we’ve entered an exciting new phase. Our new summer season was announced earlier this month, along with a new visual identity.

In this Q&A, meet Artistic Director Designate Michelle Terry ahead of her first season at Shakespeare’s Globe, which kicks off this April with Hamlet and As You Like It.

What is your first memory of Shakespeare’s Globe?

Queuing for Twelfth Night on a warm Sunday in 2002. I bought a tub of mixed nuts and a pint of beer and stood in the yard on my own and couldn’t believe what I was watching. The most permissive, empowering, autonomous experience I have ever had in a theatre.

Do you have a favourite memory in this building?

Playing the Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost in 2009, I was sitting on a walkway that came out into the yard, facing the stage when I felt a tug on my corset string. I turned my head and a man said, “I’m terribly sorry, your majesty. Your corset has come undone”. It was the most sublime moment where logic and myth came together. It was totally logical to this man that he should save me from an embarrassment, but simultaneously he was immersed enough in the myth and the story to call me “your majesty”! Pure Globe.


Photo: Love’s Labour’s Lost, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, 2009

Why did you want to work at Shakespeare’s Globe?

It’s the most theatrical space I know and where Shakespeare makes the most sense to me.


Pictured: ‘And let us… on your imaginary forces work’ (Henry V) – part of our new cause statement

What’s the best thing about your job?

No matter how hard things get, the bottom line is that we all get to work on these incredible plays in these incredible spaces and share them with an audience in the most sensorial and experiential way. It’s extraordinary.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Shakespeare’s Globe?

That we continue to delight audiences, from the eight year old to the eighty-nine year old, with these plays in these unique playhouses, and continue to surprise and inspire the passionate aficionados and the newcomer alike. 


Photos of Michelle Terry by Sarah Lee

What are you most proud of?

To be a part of the history of the journey of this extraordinary building.

Do you have a favourite Shakespeare quote?

‘Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.’ (Measure for Measure)

Favourite Shakespeare play?

All of them!


Photo: Pete Le May

What would your 90 year old self say to you now?

Keep going. It matters. 

If you could describe Shakespeare’s Globe in one word, what would it be?

Vital. Alive. Wonder-Full… nope, sorry, one word is not enough.

Shakespeare’s Globe Summer Season 2018 goes on sale to the public on 29 January, but you can support us as a Friend to receive priority booking.