Michèle Winstanley is an actress and playwright. She started acting at age ten, and left school at sixteen to take a lead role in Phil Redmond’s GOING OUT; the first television series aimed specifically at teenage viewers. In her acting career she has played numerous roles; in television, film, radio and theatre; including Karen the Barmaid in ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES, and Olive McBollock in Alex Cox’s SID N NANCY. In the early 1990s Michèle featured in over fifty commercials for SAFEWAYS; as Harry the talking toddler’s mum. Lately, Michèle has been enjoying using her improvisation skills to deliver forum theatre in situ.
In the late 1990s, Michèle branched into writing; and in 1999 her first play, KEEPERS, was selected by Hampstead Theatre for inclusion in their festival of play readings by new writers, called A Small Drop of Ink. The reading starred Ray Winstone in the role of Derek, and led to a full production at Hampstead in 2000, as well as a commission from Soho Theatre for her second play, EDGING GENTLY FORWARDS (via dramaturg and playwright Paul Sirett).
After a career-break to raise a daughter and learn sign Language, Michèle returned to writing, and finished her third play, BROKEN WATER, in 2013. It was subsequently shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award (placing it in the top 25 out of over 800 submissions) and selected for inclusion in Arcola Theatre’s first Playwrought festival of new writing (with a rehearsed reading, directed by national treasure, Phil Davis).