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Bio

Michelle is a director and published playwright from Essex and Resident Director on the UK Tour & London run of Bugsy Malone (2022-23). 

 

Michelle was short-listed as one of eight directors for RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2022 and for the Young Vic Genesis Future Director Award 2023 and long-listed for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2023.

 

In 2021 Michelle worked on artist-led programme Future Forms with the Donmar Warehouse under the guidance of director Sacha Wares.

 

Michelle was a 2019 recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Directors' Scheme completing a three month residency at the Mercury Theatre Colchester.

Michelle is currently Associate Director on Errol's Garden (UK Tour 2024) and due to direct The Collective for Young Vic Taking Part (2024/25).

 

Directing Credits:

American Idiot (Chichester Conservatoire), Pippin (Mountview, BA Musical Theatre), Good Enough Mums Club (UK Tour - co-director w/ Sarah Meadows), To Have & To Hold (The Bush / Mercury Theatre Colchester), Mind Over Matter Musical (Theatre Peckham & finalist for The LET Award 2022), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Chichester Conservatoire), The Liberators by Michelle Payne (PPA), My Three Sisters by Holly Rose Hawgood (R&D, The Bush), Jess by Stephanie Silver (The Space UK Online which received an ONCOMM nomination for Digital Theatre - The Offies), Squad Goals by Michelle Payne (Dagenham & Redbridge FC), Find Me by No Fixed Address (VAULT Festival).

 

As Resident:

The House With Chicken Legs - Olivier Nominated: Best Family Show (UK Tour), Bugsy Malone (London & UK Tour)

 

As Associate:

Pigs Might Fly from Michael Morpurgo's MudPuddle Farm [&associate choreographer] (UK Tour), Summer Camp for Broken People (Pleasance), Headcase by Kirstin Mcilquham (The Bush), Split by Emma Pritchard & Tamar Broadbent (Brighton Fringe, &choreographer).

 

As Assistant:

Princess Essex by Anne Odeke (Creative Estuary, Essex Tour), Cinderella (Mercury Theatre Colchester - nominated for Best Pantomime at the Great British Panto Awards 2019/20).

 

Recent Writing Credits:

Hyper (Overture), The Storytellers (Our Voices - Small Truths - Caravan Theatre), The Grind - Commission (IE Productions - Matt Cole & Morgan Large), Chelsea for the End of the Line Podcast, S3 (InkJockey), Enthusiastically, Yes! A New Musical (Long List: ALP & Aria Entertainment Chamber Musical Competition) at The Garrick, West End. Memory Box (winner: Mercury Monologues), Squad Goals (published by Salamander Street), Sad About the Cows (Tristan Bates Theatre).


Twitter: @chellesta / Insta: @chellestaa / Website: michelle-payne.co.uk

(Headshots by B Clarence Photography)

Awards and Achievements

2023

RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award

Long List

2023

Young Vic Genesis Associate Director Fellowship

Finalist: Final Four

2022

The LET Award

Finalist: M@n Enuff by Emy P & Michelle Payne

2021

SPIRIT OF THE FRINGE

Ingenuity in lockdown (Online @ TheSpaceUK)

Nominated: Walk of Shame by Stephanie Silver & Amelia Lovesy (Director)

2020

MERCURY MONOLOGUES (w/ Josef Weinberger)

Winner: Memory Box by Michelle Payne

2015

Moorscars: Best New Writing & Best Actor (Michelle Payne)

Orchid by Michelle Payne & Daniel Len (Writer-Actor)

2023

Overture Scheme

Recipient (6 writing teams from 150 applicants)

2022

Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Award

Short-List: "Keep Me From Going Under" from Keep Me From Going Under by Emy P & Michelle Payne.

2021

VAULT FIVE

Long List: Michelle Payne, Creative

2020

THE OFFIES: ONCOMM for digital Theatre

Jess by Stephanie Silver (Director)

2019

REGIONAL THEATRE YOUNG DIRECTORS SCHEME

Three Month Paid Placement - Mercury Theatre Colchester

2023

Young Vic Genesis Future Director Award

Short List 

2022

RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award

Short List: Final Eight

2021

ALP & Aria Entertainment Chamber Musical Award

Long List: Enthusiastically, Yes! by Payne & Webb, Writer

2020

MONO BOX: PLAY START

Long List: Well-Groomed by Michelle Payne

2018

The Brewery Fringe: Best in Fringe

Full Circle by Michelle Payne (Writer-Director)

 THANK YOU

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Thompson, Peter Freund & all at Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. for supporting my career in such a generous way. This club does so much for the local community and I will always be immensely grateful to them.

To my brilliant mentors: Ryan McBryde, Kate Golledge & Christa Harris.

To my virtual assistants: Hayley & Caris (Riten).

To the team Mercury Theatre Colchester 2019 (Tracey Childs, Steve Mannix, Elodie Gilbert, Joseph Rawlings, Dilek Latif & Antony Stuart-Hicks).

To the Young Vic Taking Part Team, especially Shereen J Phillips & Alisha Artry.

I'd also like to thank Burnt Lemon, Recreate Agency, Fisky, Matt Cole, Morgan Large, Mercury Musical Development, Stiles+Drewe, Katy Lipson & Adam Lenson for their belief in my musical theatre book writing.

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