Nichola Teresa Mary McAuliffe
27 August 1955
|Occupation||Actress and writer|
|Spouse(s)||Don MacKay (1996–2017) (his death)|
Nichola McAuliffe (born 27 August 1955) is an English television and stage actress and writer, best known for her role as Sheila Sabatini in the ITV sitcom Surgical Spirit (1989–1995). She has also starred in several stage musicals and won the 1988 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Kiss Me, Kate.
In 1984 she won the Clarence Derwent Award for her role as Queen Victoria in the West End production of Poppy at the Adelphi Theatre.
Between 1989 and 1995, she starred as obstreperous surgeon Sheila Sabatini in the ITV sitcom Surgical Spirit, her most high-profile acting role to date. She also appeared in the long-running soap opera Coronation Street between 2001 and 2002. Other TV roles were in "The Sound of Drums", a Doctor Who episode screened on 23 June 2007, and in My Family as the judge in episode "Life Begins at Fifty".
She has also had a number of stage roles, and was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1988 (1987 season) for "Best Actress in a Musical" for Kiss Me, Kate. She also appeared as the evil Baroness Bomburst in the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, and was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role or Musical of 2002 for her performance in the production.
In 2009 she appeared as the Wicked Fairy at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, in Sleeping Beauty alongside Sarah-Jane Honeywell and Shane Lynch. In 2011 she played Miss Shepherd in The Lady in the Van at Hull Truck Theatre.
In 2012, McAuliffe, a winner in 2001 for her performance in A Bed Among the Lentils was again named best actress (the only person to win the nomination twice) in the Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She subsequently wrote and appeared in a comic play, Maurice's Jubilee, staged at The Pleasance, which tells the story of an elderly man at the end of his life who is preparing to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
As well as writing several plays, McAuliffe has published two novels, The Crime Tsar, based loosely on Macbeth; and A Fanny Full of Soap, a comic novel about the pre-West End run of a stage musical, plus a children's story, Attila, Loolagax and the Eagle, both in 2003. She is also an occasional contributor to newspapers such as the Daily Mail. In 2015, her play Maurice's Jubilee was produced in the Moscow Art Theatre under the title The Jeweller's Jubilee and received good reviews.
She is a patron of Saving Faces, the facial surgery research foundation; and of Action for Children's Arts, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of creative arts among children under 12.