Thea Sharrock

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Thea Sharrock
Born1976 (age 45–46)
London, England
Alma materCorpus Christi College, Oxford
SpousePaul Handley

Thea Sharrock (born 1976) is an English theatre and film director. In 2001, when at age 24 she became artistic director of London's Southwark Playhouse, she was the youngest artistic director in British theatre.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Sharrock was born to journalist parents in London, England, but spent part of her childhood living in Kenya. She attended the Anna Scher Theatre School from the age of nine.

After her secondary education, Sharrock spent a gap year working in theatre. She first worked in administration at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, where she was also allowed to assistant direct on one production, before returning to the UK, where she worked as a personal assistant at the NT studio.

She then read Philosophy and French at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. While a student there, she was president of the Oxford University Dramatic Society.



After leaving Oxford early, before completing her degree, Sharrock took the directors course at the National Theatre, and worked as an assistant director on a number of productions at London theatres and on tour. In the summer of 2000, she won the James Menzies Kitchin Trust Award (JMK Trust Award), which allowed her to mount a production of Top Girls at the Battersea Arts Centre. The show was a success and toured the UK twice, before a brief run at a West End theatre.

She began her three-year tenure at the Southwark Playhouse in January 2001. In addition to work at the Playhouse, she served as an associate director on the long-running West End production of 'Art', directed works for the National Theatre and English Touring Theatre, and began her association with the Peter Hall Company. Sharrock left the Southwark Playhouse in late 2003, and became artistic director at the Gate Theatre in August 2004. She left this post in 2006, and had been widely tipped to take over at the Royal Court Theatre, although the post eventually went to Dominic Cooke. She served on the selection panel for the 2005 biennial Linbury Prize for Stage Design, and is now a JMK Award trustee.

Her production of Cloud Nine played at the Almeida Theatre from 31 October to 8 December 2007. In 2008, she directed Happy Now? at the National Theatre,[2] before taking her 2007 West End revival of Equus to New York in 2008 with Daniel Radcliffe making his Broadway debut. In 2009, she directed a production of As You Like It at Shakespeare's Globe.

In 2010, Sharrock directed a revival of Martin Crimp's version of The Misanthrope originally by Moliere, at the Comedy Theatre starring Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis. Also in 2010, she directed Benedict Cumberbatch in the Olivier-winning revival of After the Dance by Terence Rattigan.[3][4]


In 2012, she directed Tom Hiddleston in Henry V as part of the BBC's miniseries The Hollow Crown.[5]


Sharrock's feature film debut, an adaptation of the novel Me Before You, was announced in 2014.[6] The film was released in 2016 and grossed $207 million worldwide.[7] She directed the 2020 Disney adventure The One and Only Ivan, based on the book of the same name.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sharrock is married to National Theatre production manager Paul Handley,[9] with whom she has two sons.[10] Daniel Radcliffe is godfather to their son Misha.[11]



Year Title Director Executive
2012 The Hollow Crown Yes Yes Episode Henry V
2013–2014 Call the Midwife Yes No Episodes "Christmas special" and "Episode 1"


Year Title Director Executive
2016 Me Before You Yes No
2020 The One and Only Ivan Yes Yes
TBA Wicked Little Letters Yes No






  1. ^ British Theatre Guide interview 2003
  2. ^ National Theatre archive "Happy Now? - Productions - National Theatre". Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.,
  3. ^ Billington, Michael (9 June 2010). "After the Dance: Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  4. ^ "2011 Olivier Winners". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  5. ^ Mark Lawson. "The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get? | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2 April 2014). "MGM Sets Thea Sharrock To Helm 'Me Before You'". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Me Before You (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 1, 2018). "Helen Mirren, Danny DeVito Join Voice Cast Of Disney's 'The One and Only Ivan'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 2, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Evening Standard interview January 2008". Archived from the original on 6 November 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  10. ^ Conti, Samantha (2 June 2016). "British Theatre Director Thea Sharrock Tackles Her First Film". WWD.
  11. ^ "Five Film Facts: 'The Woman in Black'".
  12. ^ "Theatre review: Blithe Spirit at Savoy Theatre". British Theatre Guide.
  13. ^ Thaxter, John (17 January 2005). "Tejas Verdes". Stage Reviews. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011.
  14. ^[dead link]
  15. ^ "Theatre review: Heroes at Wyndham's Theatre". British Theatre Guide.
  16. ^[dead link]
  17. ^ "Theatre review: A Voyage Round My Father at Donmar Warehouse". British Theatre Guide.
  18. ^[dead link]
  19. ^ "Theatre review: Equus at Gielgud Theatre". British Theatre Guide.
  20. ^ "A CurtainUp Los Angeles theater review".
  21. ^[dead link]
  22. ^ "Theatre review: Happy Now? at RNT Cottesloe". British Theatre Guide.
  23. ^ "After the Dance shows the National Theatre at its best| Theatre | This is London". Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  24. ^[dead link]


External links[edit]