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Michele Austin (Pauline) in rehearsal for The Seagull at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Michele Austin (Pauline) in rehearsal for The Seagull at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Tell Us In 10: Michele Austin

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood Published 16 February 2022

In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions.

This week we hear from Michele Austin, who currently plays Ragueneau in the Olivier Award-winning Cyrano De Bergerac alongside James McAvoy.

Find out more about Michele in our Tell Us In 10…

1. My route into theatre was…

An only-child-hood, an active imagination, a love of old Hollywood films mixed in with a brilliant English department at my secondary school. I’m am forever grateful to my English teacher, Mr Fursland, who helped me with my audition speeches for drama school. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

2. My West End idol is…

There are a lot! And for many different reasons. Imelda Staunton, because she’s just ferociously brilliant. Her energy seems to be turned up to 11. I’ve seen her in Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Follies, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with her, albeit very briefly. Cecilia Noble is pretty fantastic. She might be one of the funniest actors onstage in this country. But she is also able to be absolutely terrifying. She was incredible in Amen Corner and in Is God Is. Linda Bassett was extraordinary in What If If Only. Paul Ritter was the absolute best, in everything. I miss him a lot.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

I have no idea! A bit of an idiot probably.

4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in/work on) is…

I can’t have one favourite, there have been a few recently. Hamilton is pretty special. Going to a show loving the score already, with a 900 hundred other people who know it too and love the songs is cool. I thought View From A Bridge directed by Ivo van Hove was incredible. The Convert at the Gate, a few years ago, Nine Night and also Les Blanc at the National. ear for eye and random by debbie tucker green were breathtaking.

5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…

Olivier nomination for supporting actress for Cyrano de Bergerac was pretty cool.

6. The hardest part about my job/role is…

Never knowing when to have your dinner, I’ve been working for over 25 years as an actor and I still can’t work out when to eat…

7. If I wasn’t an actor, I would be…

I’m pretty practical and crafty and absolutely atrocious at all admin, so anything that did not involve reports or admin…or deadlines.

8. Something people don’t know about me is…

Surely I should maintain that mystery?

9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

Save your tax.

10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…

Nothing good happens after 2…although that isn’t always strictly true. And anyway my younger self would have thought I was an idiot. And ignored me.

You can book now for Cyrano De Bergerac at the Harold Pinter Theatre currently booking until 12 March!

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Cyrano de Bergerac harold pinter theatre Michele austin Tell us in 10

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