Paulette Randall was born in south London to Jamaican parents. When she was 11 she started helping out in a shop on Saturdays and she has said: “It was working in Brixton market that was my real first understanding of theatre, just the characters you met and stories you heard.” She subsequently went to drama school at the age of 18. After graduating, she and two fellow students set up their own company, called Theatre of Black Women in response to the lack of roles for black actors at the time
She was Associate Director of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, working alongside Danny Boyle. She has directed August Wilson’s plays is a former artistic director of black theatre company, Talawa; her TV credits include Desmond’s (C4) and The Real McCoy (BBC2). Paulette was the first female black director to bring a production to the West End with Fences in 2013
Paulette was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to drama and an honorary degree from Brunel University in the same year.