Thea Sharrock

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Thea Sharrock
Born 1976 (age 40–41)
London, England
Alma mater Corpus Christi, Oxford
Occupation Director
Spouse(s) Paul Handley
Children 2

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]


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 PA at the NT studio.

She then read Philosophy and French at Corpus Christi, Oxford. While a student there, she was president of OUDS.

Sharrock is married to production manager Paul 'Handers' Handley,[2] with whom she has two sons.[3] Daniel Radcliffe is godfather to their son Misha.[4]


Theatre Career[edit]

After leaving Oxford early, before completing her degree, Sharrock took the directors course at the Royal 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 Royal 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[3], although the post eventually went to Dominic Cooke.

She served on the selection panel for the 2005 Linbury Biennial 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,[5] 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.[6][7]

TV Career[edit]

In 2012, she directed Tom Hiddleston in Henry V as part of the BBC's miniseries The Hollow Crown.[8]

Film work[edit]

Sharrock's feature film debut, an adaptation of the novel Me Before You, was announced in 2014.[9] The film was released in 2016 and grossed $207 million worldwide.[10]

Theatre credits[edit]

Radio credits[edit]


  1. ^ British Theatre Guide interview 2003 [1]
  2. ^ Evening Standard interview January 2008
  3. ^ Conti, Samantha. "British Theatre Director Thea Sharrock Tackles Her First Film". WWD. 
  4. ^ Yahoo! Film Facts, Feb 1, 2012
  5. ^ National Theatre archive [2],
  6. ^ Billington, Michael (9 June 2010). "After the Dance: Review". The Guardian. Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ "2011 Olivier Winners". Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  8. ^ Mark Lawson. "The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get? | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  9. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike. "MGM Sets Thea Sharrock To Helm 'Me Before You'". Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Me Before You (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 

External links[edit]