"A County Durham born visionary, Michael is the salt of the earth and his work is right from the heart - brave, bold and brimming with life. With two Offies for Best Production (Assassins and Billy), a critically acclaimed Passion with Ruthie Henshall at Hope Mill and an iconic lockdown Godspell with a star studded cast on Broadway HD, there is nothing this man cannot turn to gold." - Keith Merrill
Michael trained at the Guildford School of Acting. On graduating he joined the original cast of Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He then worked in numerous West End shows, leading repertory theatre and number one tours. Working with Stephen Sondheim was a personal high point for Michael during Sondheim's professorship at Oxford University.
Directing credits include: Passion (Hope Mill Theatre); The Funny Girls (Wimbledon Studio & Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Falling Stars with Peter Polycarpou and Sally Ann Triplett (stream.theatre); Godspell 50th Anniversary Online Concert (BroadwayHD); The Railway Children (Leatherhead Theatre); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Barn Theatre, Cirencester); Pippin (Lyric Theatre HKAPA, Hong Kong); The Who's Rock Opera Tommy at the Greenwich Theatre; Jack & The Beanstalk and Snow White (De Montfort Hall, Leicester); At the Union Theatre: Pacific Overtures (Stephen Sondheim), Season’s Greetings (Alan Ayckbourn), The first London revival of Billy (Best Director/Off-West End Awards and shortlisted for Best Musical Production - John Barry/Don Black/Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais), Call Me Madam, The Fix (Shortlisted for Best Musical Production/Off-West End Awards), The Baker’s Wife and Godspell (Stephen Schwartz), Assassins (Best Production/Off-West End Awards, Show of the week/Time Out) and Company (Stephen Sondheim); The Award winning play Lucky Numbers at Customs House, Tyneside; Company (C Venues/Edinburgh Festival) and The Pitchfork Disney (Philip Ridley/The Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud).
Other Directing credits include: We Need a Little Christmas (stream.theatre, 2020, Filmed at The Actor's Church, Covent Garden, London); Ruthie Henshall at The Royal Festival Hall; S&S Awards (St James’ Theatre); An Intimate evening with Ruthie Henshall (Hippodrome, London); The Attic (Workshop/Theatre Royal, Haymarket); The Inspiration Awards 2010 - 2013 (Cadagon Hall, London and Royce Hall, Los Angeles); The Wit and Whimsy of Alexander S. Bermange (St James’ Theatre Studio); Pineapple Dance Studios Finale (O2 Indigo); Co-Musical Supervisor on the film The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Drama Academy Productions Include: Saturday Night Fever at Italia Conti; Reunion at The Royal Academy of Music; Nine and The Witches of Eastwick at Mountview; Fame at The Urdang Academy and guest director at The Stephen Sondheim Society on a series of masterclasses.
“Michael Strassen is one of the most innovative and admired directors in recent years. His ability to take shows many of which haven’t been seen for quite some time and breathe new life and contemporary thinking into them makes them both rewarding and exciting. From The Fix to Billy and many in between l have been thrilled by the effect they have on me. His ability to work in both large and small venues I believe is an asset and I think his reviews speak for themselves and proof he would be perfect to helm a theatre. We hope one day to work together.”
“Michael Strassen has provided some of the very best musical theatre shows of recent years, notably revivals of Sondheim – Company and Pacific Overtures – that strike me as definitive and infinitely superior to more lauded revivals. He’s a master of using the space available if his impeccable revival of Billy – one of the best “forgotten” northern British musicals of the last half century – is anything to go by, I could see him dusting down other worthwhile British musicals, as well as launching adventurous new ones – plays as well as musicals - Strassen has worked right across the board with the best in the industry as both actor and director.”