Growing up in Johannesburg, Shannon Esra was cast in her first professional acting role at 16, playing Siri in the feature film I Dreamed of Africa, alongside Kim Basinger and Daniel Craig. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand at the end of 2003 and found herself debuting in her first professional theatre production at Pieter Torien’s Monte Casino Theatre that very year. It may come as a surprise that the theatre is where she first cut her teeth; but it was her portrayal of Neets in Dorothy Ann Gould’s 2004 theatre production “Japes”, which garnered Shannon a Fleur du Cup nomination, as well as The Naledi Award for Best Performance by a Newcomer/Breakthrough (Female). Effusive, dynamic and charming, Shannon is not merely an Actress who can portray a wide array of characters; she is also an outstanding public speaker, and voice artist, making her an asset to any event or commercial.
Most notably, Shannon is recognised across the SABC3 platform as Angelique Scott on Isidingo, and last year, she brought the cut-throat and enigmatic, Sandra Stein to life on Mzanzi Magic’s, The Queen.
Shannon’s other TV credits include the lead role of Caz O’Donough in M-Net’s drama series Snitch and the misguided, cult-following, self-mutilating girlfriend of Kyle, Yvette Meyer in Isidingo (yup, she’s played two different characters on the same show).
She was also a main credited cast member in the second and third seasons of the SABC3 drama series Hard Copy, playing hard-edged journalist Kim Smollen.
Shannon has starred alongside Eric Stoltz, playing his estranged and embittered ex-wife, in the International Sci-Fi mini-series The Triangle.
She also played the romantic lead Katie in Darryl James Roodt’s rugby feature film Number Ten.
In 2007 Esra had a starring role as one of the six heroines in the Bollywood film Salaam-E-Ishq, in which she made Bollywood history by being the first Caucasian female in a leading role.
Shannon starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe in BBC 2’s highly anticipated, The Game Changers in late 2015. Midway through 2016, Shannon was on set with Lawrence Fishburne, in the BET Biopic, Madiba.