Current exhibition

52754573222_05295b8341_c (1)




What have the following in common?


Weird landscapes, strange plant forms, Renaissance clowns,

Shakespearean monsters, dramatic three-dimensional dioramas,

very odd sculptures. disturbing collages and unnervingly modern

mythological characters?






Mike is a writer; stage, radio and TV Director/Produce and Surrealist painter whose work you can see soon, here at The Old Courthouse, Shap

Watch this space for weekly updates, background information

and lots of strange pictures


Saturday 18th March - Sunday 16th April

At The Exhibit 'A' Gallery

The Old Courthouse


See more of Mike's work at

You can also find him on



What is your earliest memory?


Mine is of a woman having her leg sawn off


I was three at the time. I was later told that it wasa magic trick but I am still not sure, even now, that I believe that


A few years later, on family holidays in Weymouth, Idiscovered arcades full of wonderfully dramatic, moving dioramas

A few years later, on family holidays in Weymouth, Idiscovered arcades full of wonderfully dramatic, moving dioramas


I decided there and then - at the age of seven - thatI was

going to create such worlds and so (some years later!)I found myself

Associate Director of the Oxford Playhouse

Judi Dench and Ian McKellan in 'The Promise'  at

The Oxford Playhouse'.


My professional debut as a stage director in 1969 was when I redirected Frank Hauser's original production of this play for the Fortune Theatre in London's West End

At the Oxford Playhouse I directed Judi    Dench, Leonard Rossiter ('Rising Damp'), Ian McShane ('Lovejoy'), Leo McKern ('Rumpole of the Bailey'). a very young Ian McKellan - and many other wonderful actors

Mike Healey's setting for William Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'

Oh yes, and I also designed my own sets and costumes.

What is more, I am still at it!


Mike in his studio in Carcassonne, SW France


Here in the UK, my television work has included various projects that have taken me to the Lake District, including a drama-documentary I wrote and directed about the early life of Beatrix Potter



The part of Beatrix was played by Helena Bonham Carter and featured Potter's early interest in mycology



Although I began my professional career in the theatre, much of my media work has been in television - primarily with the BBC in Manchester and Glasgow and also in America with Transworld Sport


My American sports series call Sportraits was seen across the globe and had weekly viewing figures in excess of 60 million

Helena Bonham Carter as  young Beatrix Potter

During my research for this project I examined books that Beatrix had once owned, now held at The Armitt Museum in Ambleside


In one book I found a pressed flower that Beatrix herself must have placed there. It was a special; moment for me.


I carefully put the flower back between the book's pages

 and told no one of what I have found. Some things are best left untouched.

At this time of the year our country hedges are largely without leaves, revealing their complex, inner structures


Below is a photograph I took last week on the outskirts of Kendal.

In my painting I often try to capture the complexity of these natural forms, although it will inevitably involve a measure of abstraction

Although CAVALCADE will primarily explore my fascination with theatre,

plants form an integral part of my particular brand of Surrealism

Golden Plant - Mike Healey

Although they may appear strange, these images (acrylic on canvas) are

firmly rooted (pun intended!) in natural forms

Sometimes, these natural forms spill over into the representation of humans - such as this 'clown' whom you will meet (I hope) in my

forthcoming exhibition:

And NO! It is not a self-portrait!




Saturday 1st April

2pm - 4pm

Mike is former Associate Director of the Oxford Playhouse and an award-winning BBC TV drama Writer and Director

His current exhibition CAVALCADE explores the theatrical world he

has inhabited for many years.

Now, just for fun, Mike will be running a drama workshop in which you will become 18C pirates at their annual (drunken) get-together; turn into living puppets; create a house full of ghosts using only sound and become Jacobean monsters

 on a desert island


No previous experience necessary!



to secure a place.

Dancers, musicians (pianists will have to bring their own grand piano) or experienced actors are especially welcome but if you are none of these, you too will be welcome

You need to be 16 + and wearing sensible clothes for alively, physical workshop

If you have been following these posts, you will know that I began my professional career in the theatre.

My passion for the theatre endures - as will becomeevident in my forthcoming exhibition here at The Old Courthouse

This year is the 400th anniversary of the publicationof William Shakespeare's First Folio

Flying Monster (The Tempest) - Mike Healey

Sycorax - witch from 'The tempest'

This collection of his plays, published in November 1623, is very rare and is one of the most important books ever published.

The first play in that volume is 'The Tempest'


This strange, magical play - set on a desert island -has long fascinated me.


I have directed it professionally several times andmade countless drawings and paintings of its settings and characters


The above painting is my idea of Sycorax - a witch whogave birth to the monster Caliban - an event that happened long before Prosperoand his young daughter find themselves abandoned on this strange island