Smiling proudly next to his mother, UK Cypriot Kerry Kyriacos Michael, the former artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, tweeted, ‘My MBE for services to the Arts. @stratfordeast. My mum and me. She arrived here aged 15 with nothing. An economic migrant from Cyprus (part of the British Empire until 1960). Two proud British ethnic minorities. ‘Immigrants, we get the job done!’
Kerry was recognised for his services to the arts and received his MBE by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
Kerry, who has 20 years experience as a theatre director, programmer, commissioner and campaigner, said, “As a second-generation Cypriot whose parents migrated to the UK in the 60’s as part of Britain’s Empire I was proud to receive the MBE.
“I was also honoured to be nominated by Sir Nick Kenyon, in recognition of the brilliant collaborative work between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Barbican Centre. What was achieved at Stratford East during my tenure took the skills and talents of many people and I want to thank everyone who I worked with.”
Kerry Michael was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Stratford East from September 2004 to September 2017. Passionate about diverse talent and inclusive practice, he built up the Theatre’s commitment to develop new work and provide a platform for voices under-represented.
Kerry’s theatre directing credits includes: Cosh Omar’s The Battle of Green Lanes, John Adams’ opera, I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (co-produced with Barbican), The Harder They Come, (transferred to the West End and subsequently to Canada and the USA), Ray Davies’ Come Dancing (Winner What’s On Stage Best New Musical), and a new production of The Who’s Tommy – (Winner UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production 16/17).
Under Kerry’s leadership, Theatre Royal Stratford East was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2007 for ‘a powerful season of provocative work that reaches new audiences.’ Pied Piper also won an Olivier Award that year and Kerry’s production of Cinderella was nominated. Other nominations include You Me B*m B*m Train, Roadkill, Oh What A Lovely War and The Government Inspector.
In March 2018 Kerry won Artistic Director of the Year at the OFF WEST END Awards.