Annemarie Lewis Thomas BA(Hons) FRSA, Principal
Originally from Swansea, Annemarie trained At Middlesex Polytechnic, graduating with an honours degree in Performing Arts.
As the Musical Director for the award winning Steam Industry she was the MD/Arranger for shows such as the London stage premiere of Calamity Jane, The King and I, The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers all at BAC. Other MD/arrranging credits include: UK No 1 tours of Annie, Totally Frocked Up, Stage Stars and Spirit of the Musicals, the Irish premiere of Rent; Martin Charnin’s 9 And a Half Quid Revue at the King’s Head; the UK premieres of Victor/Victoria, The Ultimate Man and Reefer Madness all at the Bridewell: the UK premiere of Naked Boys Singing at Madame JoJos: Pendragon for the NYMT on tour in Japan, Funeral Games, Dick Daredevil, South Pacific and Kiss and Tell all at the Drill Hall, London, for which she also composed the music. She works regularly with Perfect Pitch most recently MD’ing’ From Up Here in their West End Showcase.
Her composing credits include: Dangerous Nights at Jermyn Street; Mulan, Island of Clowns and Back to Front all the NYMT; CCTV, The Open Door, Girl In The Ashes, Sunnyville, Great Expectations, Fool’s Gold all for the YMT:UK. She composed the music for Bryony Lavery’s play Her Aching Heart for Drill Hall and La Pucelle at the Oval House. She also wrote the music for The Roaring Girl and Man is Man both at the Finborough. In collaboration with Phil Willmott Annemarie wrote the music to Around the World in 80 Days, (published by Samuel French), which has been performed both in the UK and Germany. Uncle Ebenezer commissioned by BAC and The Wolf Boys commissioned by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Since 2007 Annemarie has written several pieces for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds inc: the score for Black Eyed Susan (which reopened the Theatre after its major refurbishment), plus the music/lyrics for the critically acclaimed pantomimes Cinderella and the Glass Slipper(2007) and Puss in Boots (2008). Jack and the Beanstalk (2009). This collaboration continued for The MTA with Aladdin (2013) and Beauty and the Beast (2014). Along with book writer Nick Stimson, Annemarie has written 6 musicals for The MTA, Dangerous Daughters(2010), Celebs Anon(2011) and The Sunshine Gang (2012), The Ballad of Kitty Jay (2013), Just the Ticket (2014) and The Venus Factor (2015) They are currently doing further development work on several of their shows with a view to public licensing. In 2013 Annemarie wrote the songs for the UK tour of Boxed In for Shifting Sands Theatre Company.
As a lecturer Annemarie spent 18 years at the Hertfordshire Theatre School writing and running the Musical Theatre component of the course. She has also worked at Middlesex University where she ran the module Singer As Entertainer, as well as writing a Musical Theatre module for the then Performing Arts degree. In FE Annemarie worked at the Hertford Regional College helping them to make the transition from A Level to BTEC and contributing to the creation of the course. She works freelance as an audition consultant/workshop facilitator.
Annemarie regularly contributes as a journalist to several publications and websites on the subject of Musical Theatre, and historically wrote a regular blog for The Public Reviews.
Other credits since opening The MTA inc: Musical Supervisor for Robin Hood (Cambridge Touring Theatre) & Around The World in 80 Days (Scoop Theatre, London), West End Backwards (Kings Head) MD’ing a workshop of Playback the musical Playback, and also supervising and playing on the demo album of the show. In Feb 2013 Annemarie was one of the guests in the Page to Stage Season at the Landor where her show An Evening with the Music & Lyrics of Annemarie Lewis Thomas featured a number of West End guests singing her material. Great Expectations had a revival in London in 2013 which Annemarie supervised.
2014 was taken up with the development of a new quiz show for Rain Media, which included filming a TV pilot for Channel 4.
2015 was consumed by writing a new panto, a new musical, arranging The MTA’s annual revue and showcases, and overseeing the relocation of the college to its new site at BGAC. The year finished with Annemarie MD’ing’ The MTA’s Patron Ria Jones in her one woman show down at the Grand Theatre, Swansea.
In 2016 Annemarie was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is currently involved in MD’ing’ both The MTA’s revival of Around the World in 80 Days, plus supervising the Brewhouse Theatre Taunton’s production of the show this Christmas. In addition to that she is writing The MTA’s pantomime, whilst working on the R&D of a couple of new shows with Nick Stimson. As ever she will also be continuing her concert work, predominantly MD’ing’ Ria Jones in various gigs across the UK.
Follow Annemarie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ALThomasMT ; read her blogs at: http://althomasmd.blogspot.co.uk/ and to find out what the college is up to follow it on Twitter: www.twitter.com/themtaonline
Carly Hainsby AISTD, Vice-Principal and Head of Dance
Carly trained at Bird College graduating with ISTD teaching qualification’s in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Anatomy and Physiology and a National Diploma in Musical Theatre.
As a performer most recently Carly had the privilege to work with Chet walker on the workshop of the new musical “Feelin in the Mood”She has worked extensively for “Chicago” and has performed in productions in Istanbul, Rio and Marrakech as well as in the UK. Theatre Credits include The Wizard of Oz , Chicago, Annie in which she played the role of Lily St Regis, Crazy for you in which she played the role of Patsy, Arms and the Cow for Opera North, Calamity Jane, Anything Goes, La Traviata for Grange Park Opera, Chess in which she played the role of The White Queen and The Wiz.She was also a featured singer and dancer for the Jean Ann Ryan company for NCL and a member of the Moulin Rouge Company both in Paris and for their touring productions all over the world.
Her choreographic credits include, “The Music of Annemarie Lewis Thomas “ at The Landor Theatre, Pimpinone for the Buxton festival, “Carmen” for London Opera Vocal, pieces for “Broadway then and now” and “Burlesque and other distractions” for Bird College at The Orchard Theatre.
For “The MTA” Carly has choreographed “Just The Ticket” “The Ballad of Kitty Jay”, “The Sunshine Gang“, “ Celebs Anon” and “Dangerous Daughters” as well as pieces for each production of “Something Old, Something New”
Carly has worked with BML Workshops London as an Assistant Choreographer and Choreographer for their projects in 2013. Carly was the Movement Director for the S&S Gala at St James Theatre in 2014 and will also choreograph this year’s production.
Helen Rymer (Acting Vice Principal and Head of Dance)
Theatre and Choreography credits: Choreographer for Sunshine on Leith, The MTA, Annie, New Zealand tour. The Dreaming, Union Theatre, Peter Pan, Grand canal Theatre, Dublin, and Southampton Mayflower, 2011. U.K Associate Choreographer for white Christmas, U.K tour 2011/2012. Associate Choreographer/Dance Captain for the workshop of Monkee Business, studio theatre, Dominion, 2011. U.K Associate choreographer for White Christmas, Sunderland Empire, 2010. Associate choreographer/Dance Captain for Aladdin, Southampton Mayflower, 2010. Associate Choreographer for Santa Claus and the return of Jack Frost, Southampton Mayflower, 2009. U.K Assistant Choreographer for White Christmas, Plymouth Theatre Royal, and Salford Lowry Theatre, 2009. Assistant Choreographer and Resident Choreographer for Chitty Chitty bang Bang 2009/2010 U.K tour. Associate choreographer/ Dance captain for Cinderella the musical Pantomime at Southampton Mayflower Theatre, 2008. Dance captain in Hello Dolly, U.K tour, 2008. Dance Captain/Swing in white Christmas Edinburgh playhouse and Cardiff Millennium Centre, 2007. Dance Captain in Annie, U.K tour, 2007. Dancer in Follies in Concert at the London Palladium, 2007. Dance Captain/ swing in white christmas Plymouth Theatre Royal, 2006. Santa Claus the Musical, 2005. Dance Captain onboard oriana P&O Cruise line, 2005. Dance ensemble in Tanz der vampire, Apollo theatre, stuttgart,2003, and various pantomimes.
U.K Associate choreographer on White Christmas since 2009, showing at the Dominion theatre last Christmas. Associate Choreographer on Elf the Musical, going to the Dominion this Christmas.
Assistant Choreographer Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2009/10 UK Tour. Associate Choreographer: Monkee Business, UK tour. Aladdin, A Wish Come true, The theatre at the O2. Santa Claus and the return of Jack frost, Cinderella The Musical Pantomime , Mayflower Southampton.
Television credits: Ednaette in Dame Edna treatment, ITV. Gabriella in odeon High SchoolMusical promotion, disney. Dancer in the Paul O’Grady show, Olga TV channel 4. Featured Dancer in It’s Now or Never, ITV. Actress in ‘Womes’s Talk’ documentary, Sky, UK Living.
Helen has taught and choreographed at Various Colleges and Schools.
Helen Siveter, Deputy Head of Dance
Training: Linda Butler School of Dance, Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts
Theatre Credits: Soon to be Dance Captain on Chicago Tour
Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre), Matilda (Cambridge Theatre), MAMMA MIA! (Novello, Prince of Wales Theatre, International Tour), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Fame (Aldwych Theatre), RENT (English Theatre Frankfurt), Fame, Saturday Night Fever, Oh! What a Night (UK Tour), The Wiz (Hackney Empire), Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Bristol Hippodrome), Peter Pan (Reading Hexagon), Mother Goose (Oxford Playhouse), Dance Captain on P&O Aurora where she performed in Grease, Elvis the Musical, Half a Sixpence, Jolson and Charley’s Aunt
Concerts: Tommy in Concert (Prince Edward), Spirit of Fire (Royal Albert Hall), West End to Broadway (Palace Theatre), Singer for CABBAret! Dancer for The Rhythmics.
Television Credits: Proms in the Park (BBC3), Sunday Night at the Palladium (ITV), 2015 and 2014 Laurence Olivier Awards (BBC), Sounds of the Musicals (Channel 4), Surprise Surprise (ITV), Horizon (BBC), This Morning (ITV), The Alan Titchmarsh Show (ITV), The Late, Late Show (RTE), The Buzz (Channel 4), The Fame School Graduates (Meridian)
Choreographic Credits: Beauty and the Beast (BGA Centre), In Touch (Bridewell Theatre), RENT (Garrick)
Helen gained her teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance and has been teaching for 15 years. She has taught at colleges including Arts Ed, Bird College, AMTA, LSMT, Bodyworks and teaches workshops regularly for Pineapple Performing Arts and the Professionals. She is also a fully qualified REPS Level 3 Personal Trainer.
Chris Whittaker (Acting Deputy Head of Dance)
Chris trained at London Studio Centre after performing with both Images Of Dance Ballet company and the Jazz Dance Company, Chris now works predominantly a choreographer.
Through The Mill (London Theatre Workshop), Jungle Book (Shakespeare for Kids international), You Won’t Succeed on Broadway if You Don’t Have Any Jews (St James Theatre, London & International tour), Singin’ in the Rain (Upstairs at the Gatehouse – Off West End award finalist for best choreographer), The Apple Tree (Ye Olde Rose & Crowne) – Best musical Offie nomination, A Catered Affair (UK premier – London Theatre Workshop), Just Another Love Story (London Theatre Workshop & Brighton Fringe Festival) – Brighton Fringe Artistic Excellence Award, Little Me (Ye Olde Rose & Crowne), Marty Macdonalds Farm (National Tour & Leicester Square Theatre) and Assassins (Pleasance Theatre, London)
Prior to becoming a choreographer, Chris worked extensively as a performer, his theatre performance credits include;
West End Heroes 2014 & 2013 at the Dominion Theatre with the Matt Flint dance company, Dance captain on Jack & The Beanstalk (Camberley Theatre), 42nd Street Gala (London Palladium), Six Nights In Naples (Workshop), Beauty & the Beast (Hexagon Theatre, Reading), Teddy Time (National Tour), Aladdin (Hexagon Theatre, Reading), The Adventures Of Mr Toad (Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage), Night of 1000 Voices (Royal Albert Hall), Magic of Christmas (Birmingham NEC arena), Follies (Pleasance Theatre, London) and Cinderella (Milton Keynes Theatre).
Chris originated the role of Tony Tap in kids hit tv show GIGGLEBIZ for CBeeBies.
Nia Lynn, Vocal Consultant
Nia Lynn is the Principle Study Jazz Singing Specialist at the Royal Academy of Music, and a specialist teacher at Trinity-Laban College of Music & Dance, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and work at Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a mentor for the creative learning department ont heir Leadership MMus course. She is the Head of Voice at The MTA, London (voted School of the Year 2011 by The Stage), where she heads the full-time programme specialising in voice and breath work as well as accents and dialects (including the International Phonetic Alphabet).
She is currently working as Voice Coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company on the Olivier award winning musical, ‘Matilda’. She also represented the RSC in a series of workshops at this year’s International drama students conference in Sheffield where she will be returning this summer to continue work with the Sheffield theatres summer programme.
She has also worked with Jean Abreu on his new solo piece called Blood, she has also been working the Battersea Arts Centre on their production ‘Brand New Ancients’ which will be performed at this years Latitude festival as well as on-going work on a new piece with Up and Coming young Director Jacqui Honess-Martin debuting in 2012.
Nia has a full and varied career as a performer, and was a nominee for Jazz Musician of the Year 2010.
Nia’s work focuses on body and breath, text and voice, interpretation and improvisation. Nia’s twelve years of teaching and practical experience make her a leading member of the voice community and a specialist within her field.
She is also studying to qualify as a British Wheel of Yoga instructor with TriYoga UK in 2014.
Nick DiCola, Head of Voice
Nick DiCola holds an MA with distinction in Voice Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama and a BA in both Linguistics and Russian Language from the University of Rochester. He teaches at City Literary Institute and heads the voice curriculum for Best School of Acting in St. Albans. Nick has taught voice as a visiting lecturer at Rose Bruford College, Read College of Dance and Theatre and the London School of Musical Theatre. In addition to working with private clients, Nick has provided voice and dialect support for productions such as Crazy For You with Upstairs at the Gatehouse, The Master’s Room for BAFTA and The Royal Academy of Art, The Great Gatsby at Wilton’s Music Hall, Made in Britain for Scratch Theatre Company, Winter’s Tale and King John at East 15 Acting School, and The National Theatre Connections festival with Watford Palace Theatre and The Oxford Playhouse. Nick is currently working as a voice coach on Billy Elliot
HUGH O’SHEA, Deputy Head of Voice
Hugh O’Shea is a freelance voice and dialect coach. His theatre credits include ‘In The Heights’ (Southwark Playhouse), ‘Yellow Face’ (Park Theatre) and ‘Over The Bridge’ (Finborough Theatre). Drama school credits include The Central School of Speech and Drama, LAMDA, ALRA, Rose Bruford and the Identity School of Acting. Hugh also works as the personal dialect/voice coach to actor/comedian, Rory Bremner.
Tilly Vosburgh, Head of Acting
Tilly trained at the Anna Scher Theatre, and has worked extensively in TV, film, radio and theatre.
Film credits include Meantime and Vera Drake with Mike Leigh, The Awakening, Erik The Viking and The Pirates of Penzance. TV credits include Call The Midwife, New Tricks, Holby City, 18 months in Eastenders, Murder Prevention, The Smoking Room, Waking The Dead, Tipping The Velvet, Holding On, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Raspberry, and Teenage Health Freak.
On stage she has appeared in Drag On at the Royal Court, The Pitchfork Disney at the Bush, My Sister In This House at Hampstead, The Threepenny Opera at the Bloomsbury, and Raspberry at the Soho Poly and Edinburgh Festival.
She plays Ronnie Corbett’s daughter Ellie in When The Dog Dies on Radio 4, now on its third series, and has been in many radio plays, most recently Red Berries.
Alongside acting, Tilly has been teaching screen acting at LSMT since 2001, and at CPA since 2006. She is also a director at the RADA Contemporary Drama Summer school.
Tilly wrote a short film Domestic Flight, which played in festivals around the world in 2009. She also wrote for the radio 4 comedy series Late.
Giles Taylor, Deputy Head of Acting
Giles is an actor and singer with a wide range of experience spanning the last twenty five years. He has worked for the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, as well as at numerous repertory theatres around the country, including Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Rep, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Salisbury Playhouse, the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, and with Sir Alan Ayckbourn at Scarborough.
His most recent theatre credits include Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for the RSC in Stratford, the West End and on Broadway, This House at the NT, and An Ideal Husband at Chichester. Other recent credits include After The Dance at the NT, The Secret Garden and The Wizard of Oz at both Birmingham Rep and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sam West’s acclaimed revival of Waste at the Almeida Theatre, The Way of the World and The Music Man at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
On television he has been seen most recently in The Musketeers, the acclaimed Stuart: a Life Backwards and Stephen Poliakoff’s Friends and Crocodiles for the BBC, and Mr Selfridge and Foyle’s War on ITV.
As a teacher Giles works as a Shakespeare Consultant both for drama schools and performing arts colleges, including Guildford School of Acting. He has also worked on individual productions – most recently for the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s production of As You Like It, the Manchester Royal Exchange’s production of The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare’s Globe on their 2008 tour of Romeo and Juliet, and for the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park’s recent productions of Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet.
He also teaches regularly at The Actors’ Centre and on the Genesis Programme for emerging directors at the Young Vic. He is an Associate Artiste of the National Youth Theatre, and is regularly involved as an actor, director, writer and dramaturg with Scene and Heard, a mentoring project for inner-city kids, which has recently won a Queen’s Award.
Michael Webborn Deputy Head of Musical Theatre
Michael has worked around the UK as a Musical Director, Accompanist, Arranger and Composer. As Musical Director: The Clockmaker’s Daughter (World Premiere – Landor Theatre), The Snow Queen (UAE Tour 2015), Fashion Victim: The Musical (Mayfair Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UK and Middle East Tour 2015), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (DUCTAC Theatre, Dubai), Aladdin (UAE Tour 2014), Macbeth (UK and Middle East Tour – Shakespeare 4 Kidz), Meet Me in St. Louis (UK Premiere, Landor Theatre), Pinocchio (Arranging; Dubai Tour, Shakespeare 4 Kidz), [title of show] (London Premiere, Landor Theatre), Next Thing You Know (Landor Theatre), The Tempest (UK and Middle East Tour – Shakespeare 4 Kidz), Spring Awakening (Catford Broadway, London), Hot Mikado (Landor Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Arranging; Middle East Tour – Shakespeare 4 Kidz), Curtains (European Premiere, Landor Theatre), Jack and the Beanstalk (Perth Theatre), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Tron Theatre, Glasgow). He is also Musical Director for Gotta Sing! at the Phoenix Artist Club, coaching new singers on their regular courses, playing for Open Mic Nights and their West End Talent Competitions. As Assistant Musical Director: Blood Brothers (UK, No. 1 Tour). As accompanist: I Love You Because (Jermyn Street Theatre), Sunday in the Park with George (Edinburgh Fringe 2011) and Honk! (Royal and Derngate, Northampton) as well as pianist on recordings of White Chameleon by Christopher Hampton and Murder in Samarkand by David Hare for BBC Radio 4. Michael returned to London after completing his MA in Musical Direction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and holds a BMus (Hons) in Vocal Studies from Trinity College of Music, having also been awarded the Alan J Kirby Prize for Conducting and Charles Proctor Prize for Choral Conducting. In 2013 he was nominated for Best Musical Direction in Fringe or Regional Theatre for [title of show] at the Landor Theatre by BroadwayWorld.com. He is the co-writer of the critically acclaimed new musical The Clockmaker’s Daughter. It is currently nominated for 3 Off West End Awards including Best Musical Production and is also nominated for Best Off West End Production in the West End Wilma Awards 2015.
Sarah-Jane Ledbury, CSM and PA to the Principal
Sarah-Jane has worked as a freelance Company Stage Manager for eight years and within stage management for over eleven years. She’s been privileged to company manage within a wide variety of theatre genres including London’s West End, National and International tours. In 2014 she was fortunate to take a UK production on an International tour to Dubai and India – a challenge that she found both challenging and rewarding. Sarah-Jane has travelled the world extensively and is now thrilled to be a part of the The MTA.
Angie Peake RN (Adult) RN (Mental Health) DipHE, PGDip, MSc (distinction), Health & Welfare Consultant
Angie is a dual registered nurse with an extensive background working with young people. She is currently a lead nurse in Adolescent Acute Mental Health Services. She has a Masters Degree in Systemic Management, Coaching and Consultation. Angie has worked as a youth centric counsellor for several years and is an experienced Solution Focussed Therapist.
As the Consultant for The MTA Angie will be supporting staff by providing consultation and advice on all health and welfare issues. Students will also be able to access Angie’s services should the need arise.
The MTA prides itself on its pioneering approach to pastoral care. www.counsellingforperformers.co.uk
Wilma Kirsten, Consultant Nutritionist
Wilma Kirsten is a Harley Street nutrition expert who specialises in gut disorders and female hormonal health. Her honours degree in Nutritional Therapy, masters diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and extensive clinical experience means that the students are privy to advice from a true expert in the field.
Wilma fundamentally believes that we are what we eat and that the power of good nutrition should not be underestimated. She advocates eating to sustain a good quality of life not merely ingesting food for the sake of it. Wilma understands that we are all unique individuals with different lifestyles and incorporates that knowledge in guiding her patients to experience the benefits of well chosen food options. She never loses sight of the goals that the patient sets at the onset of a consultation and offers support throughout this unique adventure which focuses on eating well for life.
As well as her busy clinical practice, Wilma is also an expert columnist on Nutrition for Positive Health Online Magazine and is completing her second science degree in Biological Psychology through the Open University.
For more information visit http://www.wilmakirsten.com/
Liz Bayley BA(Hons) Adip ST MFHT, Sports Therapist
Originally from Surrey, Liz has performed in various countries around Europe, including France (The Moulin Rouge, Paris), Italy and Portugal. She was the Dance Captain and Production Manager for FJM Productions in the USA in 2002. She specialised in Latin, Ballroom and Argentine Tango, and worked extensively in London, including being the resident Argentine Tango teacher at Danceworks from 2011-2013.
Having always been fascinated by anatomy and physiology, Liz decided to train in Sports Therapy six years ago. She is now one year away from obtaining a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy from King’s College London!
Liz considers herself very lucky to have a number of famous clients on her books and to work backstage on many West End shows including, Wicked, Shrek the Musical, Chicago, Matilda & Jersey Boys! She is thrilled to be working with the talented and lovely students of the MTA.
Colin Farquharson trained as an actor in South Africa. He appeared in various Shakespearean productions including, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander); Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick); and The Merchant Of Venice (Lorenzo) before making his musical theatre debut in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Simion)at the State Theatre in Pretoria. In the UK Colin has continued working on stage appearing as Murkor in Bink and the Riddle of the Sphinx (People’s Theatre Company) and Sobad in The Magic Toybox (Chaplin’s Theatre Company). Recently, Colin has focused more on film work and has appeared in several award winning short films including Tarrot (DEATH), Working Late (TIM) , Crass Transit (Businessman) and The Endless Game (Man in Black).
Colin worked in the theatre and film industry for 10 years before returning to study and completing his MA in Voice Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama. Colin now works as a freelance voice teacher focusing on the connection between the voice and body and has taught for many institutions including Central School of Speech and Drama, Guildford School of Acting, East 15, Gloucester University, HULT Business School, to name but a few. He has also run workshops internationally, in Austria, South Africa and Botswana.
Sarah is a London based voice, accent and singing coach. After training as an actress and singer in Australia, she graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a Masters in Voice Studies. During this time Sarah studied under prominent practitioners including Cicely Berry, Barbara Houseman, Kristen Linklater, Penny Dyer and Anne-Marie Speed. Sarah has taught at East 15, Court Theatre Training Company, NIDA, Actors Centre Australia and St Mary’s University. She has recently worked on productions ‘Handbagged’ (BCP), ‘Agamemnon’ (CTTC) and ‘Pearls Before Swine: An Evening with Orson Welles’ (NGP). Sarah continues to work in the industry as a performer and voiceover artist. Acting credits include ‘Spring Awakening’, ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’, ‘The Hatpin’, ‘Ruby Moon’, ‘Crooked’ and ‘Grease’. She is a member of Equity, VASTA and VCN.
Kat graduated with an MA in Voice Studies from The Central School of Speech and Drama in 2011 and has been first year voice tutor at Arts Educational Schools since 2012 working with students on both the BA Acting for Film and Television and BA Musical Theatre courses as well as coaching voices and accents for productions in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre (most recently ‘Spring Awakening’ and ‘Harvest’). She also coaches privately with clients ranging from inner city school children to registrars.
Recent professional theatre credits include voice and accent work for ‘Belfry’ by Billy Roche (The Space), ‘Vernon God Little” (The Space), ‘On Golden Pond’ (Salisbury Playhouse), accent work for ‘A Winter’s Tale’ (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), voice and text work for ‘Edward II’ (Rose Theatre, Bankside) and ‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’ (Giant Olive).
Alasdair has worked extensively both in Theatre and Television. Theatre credits include: Forbidden Broadway (Menier Chocolate Factory), Frankie Harris in the Ray Davies award winning musical COME DANCING (Theatre Royal Stratford East), SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM (The Venue), Boatman/Dennis in the multi award winning production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Chocolate Factory/Wyndhams), PUTTING IT TOGETHER, (Harrogate Theatre), Wild Bill Hickok in CALAMITY JANE (National Tour), Bill Cracker in Happy End (Thursty Dog), Sky Masterson in GUYS AND DOLLS (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Pirate King, PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Bromley Open Air), Alec D’Urberville in TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES (Savoy Theatre), the Original Beast in Disneys BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Dominion Theatre), Raoul in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Her Majesties Theatre), Grantaire/Marius/Enjorlas in LES MISERABLES (Palace Theatre), RNT production of CAROUSEL (Shaftesbury Theatre), Cliff in SUNSET BOULEVARD (Adelphi Theatre), ASPECTS OF LOVE (National Tour), Fiddler on the Roof (West Yorkshire Playhouse), MY FAIR LADY (National Tour) BLITZ! (Tyne Theatre)
Television credits. Harry Shaw in TAGGART, Bruce Malcolm in THE BILL, Ewan Patterson in RIVER CITY, Dave Schoffield in CASUALTY, Mr. Connors in HOLBY CITY and P.C. Robertson in BIRDS OF A FEATHER.
Alasdair has worked extensively as a concert artist both on radio and internationally, working with some of the worlds leading Symphony Orchestra including Halle, Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Schenzen Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
As a director Alasdair has previously directed Two and Shirley Valentine and most recently Ladies Day all at the Garrick Rep in Lichfield.
Matthew trained as an actor at LAMDA and later moved to directing – cutting his teeth as an assistant at the RSC. Over the years he’s worked with acclaimed Russian director Karma Ginkas, spent time with William Esper in New York, The Moscow Arts Theatre and performed alongside the actor Brian Cox in Orson Welles “Heart of Darkness” for Fiona Banner at the Royal Festival Hall. He was senior acting tutor at GSA and most recently the head of the postgraduate acting course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts; gaining recognition for developing innovative teaching and learning methods. He has worked as an acting teacher, director and coach for the last 17 years. In that time he’s helped numerous actors and performers and continues to be in demand as a freelance teacher and director both nationally and internationally.
Susan trained at the Guildford School of Acting and has recently graduated with an MA in Shakespeare and Contemporary Performance from Birkbeck University. Having enjoyed fifteen years working as an actress she now works as a freelance director and gives acting master classes in contemporary and classical text and Acting through Song.
Directorial credits include: John and Jen (Landor Theatre); a new book-musical for children Rumplestiltskin’s Daughter (Earls Court Festival); Footloose (Jasmine Teh Studio); Oliver! (Towngate Theatre); Back to the 80’s and The Music Man (Kenneth More Theatre); Monkey Town (Rosemary Branch Theatre).
For the London Studio Centre Seedtime Company she directed and designed Vinegar Tom; After Juliet; Stepping Out; Find Me; Fen; Top Girls; Maria Marten; Lady Audley’s Secret and Mixed Dobles (De Valois Studio). For the LSC Dance Overture she devised and directed Celebration Rain; Kitchen Crazy (Wimbledon Theatre); Beached (Shaw Theatre); City Segue (Peacock Theatre); and was Associate Director for Oh! What a Lovely War (Pleasance Theatre and Tour).
Susan is Head of Drama at the London School of Musical Theatre where she has established the drama curriculum over the last decade and annually directs two in-house productions in Contemporary and Classical text. She was Associate Director for LSMTs production of Jason and the Argonauts (Cochrane Theatre); Hope (Bridewell Theatre) and co-directed Roadways (LSMT). Earlier this year she directed My Favorite Year for LSMT at The Bridewell Theatre.
Please note that it is The MTA policy for all staff to be currently working in the industry, therefore teachers are likely to change subject to professional commitments.
Alec was born in Canterbury but grew up in Perth, Australia. Returning to the UK to further his training at Doreen Bird College.
He has just finished performing in the UK tour of The Judy Garland Songbook.
Alec has recently choreographed the fashion film short for Cho Cheng “The Art Of Je Ne Sais Quoi” which has been selected for the ASVOFF8 fashion film festival in Paris this December at the Centre Pompidou.
In his final year of college, Alec successfully auditioned for Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium and then onto the original cast of Notre Dame De Paris (swing and assistant dance captain) at the Dominion Theatre, London. In 2013 he was part of the choreographic team in staging a completely Korean production of the show.
During Notre Dame he was asked to audition for Kylie Minogues Can’t Get You Out Of My Head video. This led to Alec working with Kylie as her dance partner for the entire Fever album world promotion including the videos In Your Eyes, Love At First Sight (which he co-choreographed with Rafael Bonachella) and I Believe In You, culminating in the world tour of KYLIEFEVER2002. Alec worked with Kylie again in 2008 for her European promotion of the singles In My Arms and Wow at the BRIT awards.
Notable credits include:
Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue) USA TV performances (Tonight Show with Jay Leno,MTV TRL,Carson Daly, Regis and Kelly), Mara Galeazzi Gala at Sadlers Wells (tap choreographer), Mentos “UP2U” viral commercial, Cybertronica Tap for KYLIEFEVER2002, La Variete at The Hackney Empire (assistant choreographer), Let’s Dance for Comic Relief (assistant choreographer)
West Side Story (Bregenz Festival,Austria),Tap Dogs (Geneva/London), Viva La Diva (UK arena tour),Guys and Dolls workshop (with Carlos Acosta), Vampirette (Manchester Opera House), Gadaffi (ENO), Carmen (Royal Albert Hall).
Film: Phantom Of The Opera, Beyond The Sea, Inkheart, Gullivers Travels.
Videos: Maybe and Downtown (Emma Bunton) You Give Me Something (Jamiroquai), Come Up and See Me (Erasure), Shine (Bootyluv) and Get The Party Started (Shirley Bassey).
Television: London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony,Take That (Brit Awards 2011), Lily Allen (Brit Awards 2010), Scissor Sisters (Brit Awards 2007), Katherine Jenkins (Ryder Cup Concert 2010) Tom Jones (Brit Awards 2003), Jamelia (MOBO Awards 2004) An Audience With Kylie, Girls Aloud (Royal Variety), MTV Awards (Kylie Minogue 2001) and commercials for T-Mobile, Escada and Baileys.
Philip gained a scholarship to Performers College in Essex to study dance and musical theatre under the direction of Brian Rogers. He graduated in 2007 with a National Diploma in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. During his studies he also gained his I.S.T.D. teaching qualifications in modern and tap. As well as gaining his PTLLS teaching qualifications. Choreography credits:
‘ROCK CITY’ for Celebrity Cruises, ‘CLOSER TO HEAVEN’ Union Theatre, London, ‘Miracle on 34th Street‘ UK Tour, ‘Ahmal & The Night Visitors’ London, ‘MAC Make-up Rocky Horror London launch’ ‘Ivor Novello and the Great British Musical’ St James’s Theatre, London. ‘Libero’ football magazine shoot. ‘Wish Upon A Prince’ London ‘One Twenty One Guns’, Bridewell Theatre, London. ‘Sweet Charity’, Sadler’s Wells, London. UK premier of ‘My Son Pinocchio, Geppetto’s Musical Tale’, music written by Stephen Scwartz. ‘An Evening with David Hasselhoff’, indigO2. ‘Aladdin’, Milton Keynes Theatre and Bristol Hippodrome ‘Cinderella’ Bristol Hippodrome & Aylesbury Waterside Theatre for First Family Entertainment. Wedding of Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford for Hello! Magazine. ‘Celtic Journey’, New York City dance section.
Film and Television credits:
Lead male dancer ‘The song of life’ for Leftfield. Featured artist for X-Factor’s Aiden Grimshaw’s debut music video ‘All This Love’. Dancer in ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ Dancer in ‘Walking On Sunshine’. Click track dancer for John Turturo in ‘Nutcracker – The Untold Story’. Dance captain MTV ‘Living On The Edge’. ‘Top of the Pops’ as a backing dancer for Inaya Day and GMTV ‘100th Anniversary for the British Heart Foundation’. Featured dancer for Bollywood film ‘Veer”
Ensemble in ‘FAME The Musical’ & ‘Fender’ at the Gordon Craig Theatre, ‘42nd St Gala’ at the London Palladium. Dr Coppelius ‘Coppelia’, Widow Simone ‘La Fille Mal Gardee’, St Margarets Festival Ballet, ‘Aladdin’ at the Liverpool Empire, New Wimbledon Theatre. ‘Celtic Journey Dance Sensation’ at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ at the London Cruise Terminal, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ playing the role of narrator/dance captain and ‘Live at the Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Theatre, London. Philip has also appeared as a dancer at the ‘Daisy Ball’ and the ‘Candy Ball’ at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Judge: Janet Cram Awards Modern Dance Final 2012, Shaw Theatre, London. Philip teaches dance at a number of musical theatre performing arts colleges across London and the South East. He also guest teaches numerous guest celebrities from the show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Dancing with The Stars’. He has taught and choreographed for many celebrities including Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff, Paul O’Grady, Ruby Wax, Paul Burling, Anita Dobson, Eric Potts, Russell Grant, Bradley Walsh, Brian Blessed, Les Dennis, Camilla Dallerup, Gareth Gates to name but a few.
For more information see: http://www.philip-joel.me.uk
Theatre credits include – Chicago (Garrick Theatre) understudy Mamma Morton. Hairspray (UK Tour) Dance captain/swing and understudy Velma and FAF. Never Forget (UK Tour) Resident Director and understudy Babs. Mamma Mia (International Tour) Dance Captain/Swing. Chicago (UK Tour) Dance Captain/Swing and understudy Roxie and Mamma Morton. Footloose (Novello Theatre) Dance Captain/Swing and understudy Ariel, Rusty, Wendy Jo and Urleen. Oh What a Night (UK Tour) Resident Director and played the Role of Candy. Our House (Cambridge Theatre) Dance Captain/Swing. Fame (Victoria Palace) Swing and understudy Carmen, Mabel and Miss Bell.
Choreography Credits – Chicago, Assistant Choreographer to Gary Christ in Rehearsals for the Garrick Theatre. Michael Ball Concert, Choreographer/Stage Direction, Choreographed four numbers and staged the Concert. Mamma Mia, Assistant Choreographer International Tour 2010 Cast Change. Oh What a Night, Assistant Choreographer to Kim Gavin. S Club Juniors, Assistant Choreographer to Gary Lloyd on numerous S Club TV appearances. BBC Panto, Assistant Choreographer to Gary Lloyd.
Television Credits include – Royal Variety Show, CDUK, This Morning, Top of the Pops, Talking Telephone Numbers and Stars in their eyes.
Charlie comes from County Durham where she trained at Marron Theatre Arts before attending the Royal Ballet School where she was Head Girl and received the April Olrich Award for Most Dynamic Dancer.
She completed her dance training at London Studio Centre and is now taking her Level 6 Teaching Qualification with BBO.
Through her teaching and professional experience she has been invited to teach at Scholarship events around the country and adjudicate various competitions including Loughborough University Annual Dance Competition.
Kathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain (Cork Opera House) Swing, Cover and Played ‘Dead Mam’ in Billy Elliot (Palace Victoria, West End) Charity/Cover Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (Kilworth House). Ensemble, Cover and played Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre, West End). Swing, Cover and Played Anita in West Side Story UK and World 50th Anniversary Tours, Alternate Narrator in Joseph (UK Tour) Ensemble in 42nd Street Gala Performance (London Palladium)
Saturday Night Takeaway, Surprise Surprise! This Morning, Royal Variety Performance 2011, Bo-Salecta.
Billy Elliot LIVE (Cinema and DVD Release)
Singin’ in the Rain (London Cast Recording)
Tom Jackson Greaves
Born in Cornwall, Tom trained at Laban and London Contemporary Dance School.
Choreographic credits include: So Here We Are (The Royal Exchange, Manchester); (The Glass Menagerie (Headlong Theatre UK Tour), Juicy and Delicious (Nuffield Theatre Southampton), When We Were Women (The Orange Tree), The Crocodile (Manchester International Festival), Teddy (Southwark Playhouse), Defect The Musical (Arts Ed), Shadowthief (Barnsley Civic), Kerry Ellis at the Palladium (London Palladium), LIFT The Musical (Soho Theatre), Harvest Fire (YMT The Lemon Tree Aberdeen), The Seventh Muse (YMT Barbican Plymouth), short creations at ArtsEd, The MTA, CPA Studios and Dance Academy Russia and music videos for Boy George and Clare Maguire.
Tom also creates his own dance-theatre work: Seven Deadly Sins (UK Tour) and Vanity Fowl (Sadlers Wells).
Tom was a winner of the New Adventures Choreographer Award in 2012.
Tom has also worked extensively as a performer touring regularly with ‘Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures’. Other highlights include; Tristan And Yseult (Kneehigh Theatre) and Kes (Sheffield Crucible),
Training: London Studio Centre
Theatre: Kiss Me Kate (UK Tour); Toad in Wind in the Willows (Vaudeville Theatre/Duchess Theatre/Royal Opera House.); Sirius in The Star Child (Menier Chocolate Factory); West Side Story (Sage, Gateshead); Soho Cinders (Queen’s Theatre, London); West Side Story (UK Tour), We Will Rock You, Vienna/Zurich; On The Town (London Coliseum); Death In Venice (London Coliseum); A Journey of Jazz (Sadler’s Wells, London); Oliver! (London Palladium) and various pantomimes nationwide.
Film/TV: Alice Through the Looking Glass; London Road; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Muppets Most Wanted; Rush; Great Expectations; Hugo; Bo Selecta; Teachers and various commercials and music videos.
Choreography: Anything Goes (Wyvern Theatre, Swindon); Wizard of Oz (Wyvern Theatre, Swindon); Fame (Orchard Theatre, Dartford); Assistant Choreographer on LazyTown Live! The Pirate Adventure (UK Tour); Assistant Choreographer on various pantomimes including Dick Whittington (Milton Keynes Theatre) and Qdos’ Cinderella (Theatre Royal, Plymouth). Cris has also choreographed numbers for London Studio Centre and the Urdang Academy shows.
As well as performing, Cris is also currently teaching jazz and tap classes for the MTA, London Studio Centre, CPA, Mountview, Central School of Speech & Drama, the British Ballet Organisation and guest teaches at various other venues.
Guys and Dolls, (Diva) – Westend. ,Original cast Dirty Rotten Scoundrels- Westend. ,Rock of Ages (Constance Sack) – Westend. ,Original cast Spamalot – Westend.,Grease (u/s Cha Cha and Marty) -Westend., Dirty Dancing ( u/s Baby) – UK Tour. Mamma Mia ( u/s Ally) – International Tour.
The forthcoming remake of Beauty and the Beast. (Walt Disney Productions.)
This Morning and The Alan Titchmarsh show( ITV) The One show and The Royal Variety show(BBC)
Other Work Includes:
Dancer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, directed by Danny Boyle. Classical Spectacular ( Royal Albert Hall.)
Matt started his dance career after graduating from Masters performing arts college in 2009. He went straight into the professional industry to work with some of the biggest UK artists and artists from across the globe. Matt’s work stems from TV, Fashion and theatre which has helped him gain a vast amount of knowledge within dance, working and teaching alike.
Credits include BBC, ITV, SKY, RHIANNA, LITTLE MIX, THE SATURDAYS, THE WANTED, TAKE THAT, PIXIE LOTT, CHERYL COLE and many more. Matt has taught at some of the leading colleges across the country and is really pleased to be teaching as part of the MTA faculty!
Rachael trained at Northern Ballet School and was a Royal Ballet senior Associate, whilst training she qualified for and took part in the prestigious Adeleine Genee Awards and also won the IDTA ballet scholarship.
Rachael was recently asked to join the Australian cast of ‘Cats’ on the final leg of their Asian tour as Tantomile understudy Jemima, Demeter and Victoria.
Other theatre credits include: Graziella in ‘West Side Story’ (National tour); first understudy Meg Giry in ‘The Phantom of the Opera – 25th Anniversary tour’ (National tour); Ensemble and first understudy Wendy in ‘Peter Pan’ (Mayflower theatre); ‘We Will Rock You’ (Antwerp Belgium); Ensemble and understudied and played Wendy in ‘Peter Pan’ (Grand Canal theatre Dublin); first understudy Cinderella in‘Cinderella’ (Orchard theatre); ensemble and 1st understudy Iris in ‘Fame’ (National tour); ‘We Will Rock You’ (Dominion theatre); swing in the original London cast of ‘Movin’ Out’ (Victoria Apollo); alternate Ice Princess in ‘The Snowman’ (Peacock theatre); swing and first understudy Zsa Zsa in ‘Love Shack’ (National tour); Dance Captain and swing in ‘Grease’ (Victoria Palace, Japan and National tour); ‘Cinderella’ (New Victoria Woking), Rumpleteaser, Demeter, Sillabub and Tantomile in ‘Cats’ (Stuttgart Germany); Meg Giry in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (Hamburg Germany) and the Spirit in ‘The Spirit of the Dance’ (US tour).
Rachael has also appeared on the Al Murray Show, took part in the 2008 Olympic handover ceremony and guested for Rock of Ages for their performance at West End Live. She also regularly performs for Incandescence Contemporary Circus Theatre Company and Private Drama Events
‘The Phantom of the Opera’ directed by Joel Schumacher and ‘Finding Neverland’ directed by Marc Forster.
BBC radio production of Smith of Wooten Major.
Rachael graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance gaining a Distinction for The Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma and teaches at various schools and colleges across London.
Leanne is a professional commercial dancer who graduated from Performers College in July 2007.
Leanne has worked with many artists including Katy Perry, Robbie Williams, Rizzle Kicks, Kylie Minogue, Little Mix, Paul McCartney, Girls Aloud, S Club 7,JLS, One Direction, Olly Murs, Scissor Sisters, Boyzone, Lilly Allen, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Leona Lewis, Kesha, The Wanted, The Saturdays, Blue, Wiley, 5ive, Liberty X, 911, B*Witched, Honeyz, Atomic Kitten, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Goldfrapp, Hurts, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Richard and Alesha Dixon.
Victoria Secrets Fashion Show 2014, S Club 7 ‘Bring it All Back’ tour 2015, XFACTOR Tour 2014, Big Reunion Christmas Tour and Big Reunion Boy Band Tour, Girls Aloud ‘10’ Tour, Boyzone ‘Brother tour’, Stars In Their Eyes TV show, Surprise Surprise, Your Face Sounds Familiar, Britain’s Got Talent, Dancing On Ice, National Television Awards, Strictly Come Dancing, Royal Variety Show, XFactor, Olympics and Paralympics closing ceremonies, Queens Jubilee Concert, Brit Awards, Children in Need, So You Think You Can Dance, Eurovision, Clothes Show Live, Glastonbury, Summertime Ball, Radio 1 Big Weekend, Help for Heroes Concert, Fashion shows for Agent Provocateur, Boux Avenue, Ann Summers, Hed Kandi, UGG,
Leanne also filmed with Christian Louboutin in a promotional video for his collection and appeared in Ministry of Sounds ‘Move it, Lose it’ workout DVD.
Daniel was a gymnast from an early age competing in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics both at regional and national level gaining many titles along the way. he later became a Display Gymnast at Shirely Gymnastics Club competing across the UK gaining a Display Team Championship title in 2010. Daniel is now Head of Squads at Shirley Gymnastics Club and sets choreography for their display teams
Daniel is now a qualified British Gymnastics Coach with a Level 3 General Gymnastics qualification and Level 1 Tumbling. He has also studied and has a British Gymnastics Club Management qualification. Other qualifications include:
Safeguarding and Child Protection,Emergency First Aid,British Gymnastics Fundamentals
Along with a long history in Gymnastics Daniel also trained as a dancer from a young age. He began dancing at the age of 6 at a local dance school. He Later moved on to train at the Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology. From there he furthered his training still at Bird College. From this Daniel has been a part of many shows and projects. Credits Include; Sony Music Video, Kylie Minogue MIT Award Ceremony, Harrods Christmas Parade, ITV’s ‘Everybody Dance Now’
Daniel now coaches across London working with a variety of people of different ages and abilities. Not forgetting his performing side, he also works with dance schools and colleges helping their students progress in new skills for their pending careers. He often will choreograph dance routines involving their gymnastics routines for their shows.
He has taking his love of dance and tumbling and channeled this into an upcoming sport in the UK, which is cheerleading. He has competed at Regional, National and World level with his local team. Not only this but he was an original member of the first unified Team England which competed at Worlds 2014 where they placed 5th in the World in the Coed Elite division.
DAVID KAR-HING LEE
David’s eclectic career started as a West End performer and he has gone on to work as an artistic producer, adjudicator of dance, actor and choreographer.
West End highlights include the original London Production of Fame – The Musical, Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg’s original production of Miss Saigon at the Drury Lane Theatre, Walt Disney’s original production of Beauty & the Beast, Oh! What A Night, The King & I at the London Palladium, Elton John & Tim Rice production of The Lion King and the world premier of the smash hit musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the recent revival of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre He has also featured on various original cast albums.
His radio & TV work includes Saigon – Year of The Cat, comedy play Wild Thing, Beijing’s Slowest Elevator, The Interpreter, Avenue Of Eternal Peace and in Series 9 of Spooks on BBC television he played the role of secret agent Huang Fu Xing. He has also filmed leading roles in a series of six short feature films including Tai Ji Do, screened at the Hong Kong Film Festival.
He has also worked as a choreographer on numerous projects for Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre, Harrogate Theatre in Yorkshire, Qdos Entertainment, First Family Entertainment. Other highlights include The Tommy Dollar Show, Sweet Charity & A Chorus Line (Shaw Theatre, London), Carousel & Pirate Jenny (Bridewell Theatre, London), Lucky Stiff (Art Depot, London), Jerome Kern Goes To Hollywood (King’s Head Theatre, London) No One In The World (Cochrane Theatre, London), Hair, Sweeney Todd (The Karamel Club, London), Godspell (Greenwich Theatre, London), Moby Dick – The Musical (The Mill Studio, Guildford), Reefer Madness, Spring Awakening, Curtians (Bernie Grant Art Centre, London), and the world premiere of In Perfect Harmony (Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Malaysia). Cinderella with the late Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney (Milton Keynes).
Musical Theatre Staff
Please note that it is The MTA policy for all staff to be currently working in the industry, therefore teachers are likely to change subject to professional commitments.
Matt Smith is currently MD on the West End production of Beautiful, prior to that he worked on the Infidel (Stratford East) and Taboo, which he also helped develop and put together. Previously Matt was MD of We Will Rock You in Stuttgart and Berlin; and Never Forget at the Savoy theatre and touring. He has also MD’d Footloose, The Rocky Horror Show, Dancing in the Streets, This is Elvis, Vampirette, Bohemian Rhapsody and works as a vocal arranger and vocal coach.
Zara trained at the University of Glamorgan, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and London College of Music.
When not musically directing or composing for professional theatre, Zara works extensively in music and theatre education and specialises in major large-scale devising and performance projects. She has also been repeatedly employed by, amongst others, Royal & Derngate, Northampton; Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham; Royal Central School of Speech & Drama; Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts; Trinity College of Music; Oldham Theatre Workshop, English Pocket Opera Company, National Youth Music Theatre and the International Schools Theatre Association. She also specialises in bespoke devised music theatre projects for young people.
Theatre credits include (MD/Composer, various):
The Muddy Choir (Theatre Centre); Beggar’s Opera; Babes In Arms (Mountview); The Tempest (Watford Palace); Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Royal & Derngate); Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Cinderella, Telling Tales, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Much Ado About Nothing, Sleeping Beauty (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham); The Good Egg; Oh What A Lovely War; Common Chorus (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama); Arabian Nights; Peter Pan, Alice, The Doctor’s Daughter, The Greek, The Life of Pi, The Grimms’s Tales; An Artist and a Mariner; A Time Machine (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama at the Minack); The Love For Three Oranges, The Magic Flute, I Pagliacci (English Pocket Opera Company); The Doctor’s Daughter (at the Medway Festival, Kent); Various Cures For Loneliness (Trinity College of Music); Elmer (Birmingham Stage Company Tour); The Good Hope (ALRA); Yo-Yo (My Life is Like a Yo-Yo) (Contemporary Clowning Projects, Regional Tour); Little Shop of Horrors (Torch Theatre); The Song of Ruth, Postcards from Andalucia and Did You Ever Take Your Wife to Camberwell (Refraction Theatre Company at the BAC); Vinegar Tom (Point Theatre Cardiff); The Bacchae (Papaver Youth Theatre).
Alison Arnopp has studied both classical singing (Royal College of Music) and musical theatre (Royal Academy of Music) at post graduate level in London, after initially training and working as a stage and television actress in her home city of Cork, Ireland.
Credits include: T’ain’t a Bird, workshop, Dir. Tamara Harvey; Tannhauser, Dir. Tim Albery, Royal Opera House; Constance & Sinestra and the Cabinet of Screams, Action to the Word; Babe, The Pajama Game, RAM; Titanic, Whatsonstage Awards 2014; The Magic Flute, London Youth Opera; Thursford Christmas Spectacular; The Fingask Follies; Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart US Tour; Tocatta: Musical Express Indian and Sri Lankan tour. She has also provided session vocals for folk, pop and funk bands as well as animations and short films. She played the lead in an episode of Obsession: Dark Desires for Discovery ID last year.
In April 2013 she was awarded third prize in the international Lotte Lenya Singing Competition, the criteria of which spans opera and classic and contemporary American musical theatre repertoire. This year Alison was awarded a 2014 Professional Development Grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation.
Alison is currently playing the lead in Dusty at the Charing Cross Theatre
Gary Albert Hughes
Gary trained in singing and music at The Purcell School of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. He qualified with a diploma in Vocal Coaching as a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Gary has enjoyed working with students at The American Musical Theatre Academy (AMTA) and has also coached at Urdang Acadmy of Performing Arts and City Academy.
In 2012 Gary was the song writer and singing presenter for E4’s hit reality dating show ‘Playing It Straight’ working alongside Alan Carr and Jameela Jamil. He has enjoyed performances as a guest soloist for Kerry Ellis and Brian May’s ‘Anthems’ concert (Royal Albert Hall), singing at ‘Stephen Sondheim’s 80th Birthday Prom’ (Royal Albert Hall) and his Royal Doctorate (Royal Academy of Music). Gary also performed alongside a host of West End and Broadway stars at ‘The Calendar Girls Celebration’ (Royal Albert Hall) and ‘The Alan J Lerner Memorial’ (Actors Church, Covent Garden). Gary’s other credits include Paul in ‘Company’, Theodore Whitman in ‘Follies’, Bobby in the touring Opera ‘My Mother Told Me Not To Stare’ among many others.
As a composer Gary had his musical ‘Reception’ as one of 6 finalists in ‘The Leicester Square New Musicals Project’, composed the score and 40 comedy update songs for E4’s hit reality dating show ‘Playing It Straight’, released Christmas single ‘Your Presence’ which was recorded by West End and TV star Shona Lindsay and featured on BBC Radio’s Christmas Day Special. He has written music for film and TV and is currently writing a new collection of cabaret songs with his writing partner Tom Read Wilson.
Training: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Whilst training played Clara in Light in the Piazza.
Theatre: First Cover Eponine in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre) Vanessa in In The Heights (London Premier, Southwark Playhouse) Diva 1 in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour) Miss Lynch/Covered and played Jan in Grease (UK Tour)
Concerts: Elegies for Angels Punks and Raging Queens (Criterion Theatre) 2015 Whats On Stage Awards (Prince of Wales Theatre) 2014 Womens Inspirational Awards (Cadogan Hall)
Leon graduated with BA (Hons) Acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama & works as an actor, director, singing teacher, voice coach, writer & producer.
Directing credits include: Dave: The Less Than Average Fairy (Goldsmith’s College, Tristan Bates Theatre), Julius Caesar (Colchester Castle), Just So (Blakehay Theatre, Weston Super Mare & The Brewhouse, Taunton), Letters To Myself & Queen of Hearts (Goldsmith’s College, Tristan Bates Theatre), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Cambridge Touring Theatre – Best Production, Henley Fringe Festival), The Rivals (Mr. Hart’s Theatrical Company – Best Production & Best Director, Henley Fringe Festival).
Acting credits include: April Review (A Stage Kindly), Bitesize (A Stage Kindly), Malvolio in Twelfth Night (Clockhouse Theatre), The Elder in Brecht’s Antigone (Battersea Arts Centre), Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (National Tour).
Writing & Producing credits include: The Jewish Legacy: A Night at The Musicals.
Since graduating, he has worked in theatre, film & radio as an actor, directed several award winning productions, founded a theatre company & the vocal coaching company TemperVox Voice Coaching. He has also taught singing at the world famous BRIT School as well as on the Musical Theatre degree at Colchester Institute, lectures in voice on the BA (Hons) Acting at the University of Northampton as well as being a visiting lecturer and director for Wessex Academy of Performing Arts, American Musical Theatre Academy, Musicale (Let’s Make A Musical!) & Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Leon is in the process of completing his Certified Master Teacher of Estill Voice qualification under the guidance of Anne-Marie Speed.
Sara-Louisa trained classically at the Royal Northern College of Music. Her first professional job was Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre Manchester. She consequently toured with the show to Dublin and Edinburgh and was fortunate to be invited to appear at the Royal Albert Hall for it’s 10thAnniversary Concert in 1995 and also the closing ceremony of the Euro 96 Football Competition at Wembley Stadium.
Sara-Louisa joined the West End production of Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre in time for its 10th Anniversary. This was followed by a production of Evita in the Spektrum Theater Oslo, Norway. During 1999 she toured the UK with the musical Grease playing the part of Miss Lynch and understudying and regularly playing the part of ‘Pink Lady’ – Jan.
In May 2001 Sara-Louisa joined the Carl Rosa Opera Company to play Peep-Bo in their production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado touring Australia and New Zealand. During their Autumn Tour of the UK she has performed the roles of Pitti-Sing in The Mikado and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance.
In 2004 Sara-Louisa perform her first role in an opera, playing Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen for Garden Opera’s tour of Kenya.
In 2009 she enjoyed a successful run in The Great American Songbook at Hampstead’s New End Theatre.
Sara-Louisa is currently based in London where she enjoys a mixture of performing and teaching. She regularly appears with the The Masters of the House touring theatres around Britain and on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Specialist Skills Practitioners
Please note that it is The MTA policy for all staff to be currently working in the industry, therefore teachers are likely to change subject to professional commitments.
Geoff Beale, Commedia Del Arte
Geoff Beale co-founded Ophaboom Theatre, a commedia dell’arte company which has performed all over the UK and Europe for 17 years including five times at the Venice Carnival. He has also taught Commedia at the National and E15 and is a regular performer for The Secret Cinema, Gideon Reeling and a new young company A Commedia of Errors.
Haruka Kuroda, Actor/ Stage Combat Instructor
Haruka Kuroda trained at the Guildford School of Acting. Her theatre credits include The Paper Washi Wish (Manchester Exchange studio); The Nightingale (Polka Theatre and tour), Ali Baba and Forty Thieves (Illyria), Around the World in 80 Days (Liverpool Playhouse and tour), for TV: Chaos Laboratories, Ideal (in which she plays one of the regular characters and has been in all 6 series), Hiroshima, Broken News, Grass, Jonathan Creek, (all for the BBC) and The Bill (ITV); for film: I Like London In the Rain (NFTS), Foster, Swinging with the Finckels (both with Kintop Pictures), Iris (Fox), One Minute past Midnight which won the Best Short Film at Chicago Film Festival in 2005 and for Radio: After the Quake, A Pale View of Hill (Both for BBC Radio 4). Haruka is much sought after voice over artist and she has been the voice of Noodle, the international pop band Gorillaz since 2000. She is also a qualified Stage Combat Instructor (British Academy of Dramatic Combat).
Matt Addis, Recorded Voice
Matt read English & French at the University of Manchester and trained at Mountview. He made his West-End debut in Boeing Boeing in 2007 and has since worked extensively on stage and screen across the globe. Matt joined the BBC Radio Drama Company in 2009 and has been heard in hundreds of radio dramas, comedies and documentaries. He is a popular audiobook reader both here in the UK and in the US. His ADR work includes major HBO series and Hollywood blockbusters. TV and Radio commercial voiceovers include clients such as Vauxhall, Ford, Skoda, Sony, Domino’s Pizza, PayPal, the Stereophonics, Crowded House and the Samaritans. He has voiced many major computer games, including CodeMasters F1 Race Stars. His live voice work includes the Global Fashion Awards, United Nations events at Windsor Castle, and many prestigious poetry readings. Matt coaches actors and presenters from both sides of the Atlantic in finding and using their voice in recorded media. He has taught a week-long Masterclass in Recorded Voice at The MTA since 2011 which gives students an unparalleled introduction into the world of voice work, through practical workshops using industry standard practices and equipment.
Mervyn Millar, Puppetry
Mervyn Millar is a theatre director and puppetry specialist and the Director of Significant Object (www.significantobject.com).
As puppetry designer & director his work includes: James II (NTS/NT), Die Brüder Löwenherz (Schauspielhaus Zürich), Siegfried and Die Walküre (Opera National du Rhin), Great Expectations and The Comedy of Errors (RSC), The Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith, Bristol Old Vic) Get Santa! (Royal Court), The Secret Garden (WYP, Birmingham Rep), The Thief of Baghdad (ROH), The Magic Carpet (Lyric Hammersmith), Unfolding Andersen (theatre-rites / British Library), James and the Giant Peach (Bolton Octagon, MEN award winner) and work for the Young Vic and the National Theatre Studio. He has a longstanding association with Handspring Puppet Company and was part of the creative team on War Horse from the first workshops, appearing in the first two casts at the NT and subsequently directing the puppetry in London, New York, Toronto and Berlin. Other work for Handspring includes Stiller (with Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, Co-director), Crow (Festival 2012/GDIF, Director), Jubilee Salute (with National Theatre, Co-director), Tall Horse (Asst Director) and Or You Could Kiss Me (with National Theatre, performer). He was Artistic Director of Handspring UK. He was Director at the Finborough Theatre for the Steam Industry between 1998 and 2000 and has directed at theatres including the National Theatre (Cottesloe), BAC, Theatre Royal Plymouth, NVT (Norway) & international touring with his company wireframe. His collaboration with Kazuko Hohki and Andy Cox, Evidence for the Existence of Borrowers, won a Total Theatre Award and a Herald Angel Award. He is the author of The Horse’s Mouth, about the development process of War Horse, and The Journey of The Tall Horse, documenting a collaboration between two African puppet companies. Both are published by Oberon Books. In 2010 he became the first puppetry specialist to win an Arts Foundation Fellowship.
Anna Williamson, Presenting
Anna has been performing on stage and screen since her early teens and is best known as a presenter on Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel, CiTV and ITV’s “Daybreak”, ITV’s hit show, Splash and most recently as the relationship expert on Celebrity Big Brother’s ‘Bit On The Side’ 2015 on Channel 5.
Anna has been performing since her early teens and at 15 joined the girl-group Blush. After a year and a half performing with the group, an opportunity to present on kids TV changed her career path forever.
After her first job reporting for Carlton Television alongside Angellica Bell, Konnie Huq and Naomi Wilkinson, she was offered a role on Disney Channel and presented Studio Disney weekdays, as well as the Disney Channel Kids Awards in front of 10,000 people.
After a year at Disney, Anna was snapped up by TransWorld International (TWI) to host a daily live technology show, Gamer, where she completed over 200 live shows. Other credits include, The Tech Guide for G-Cap Media, Channel 5’s Milkshake, The Core and Shake and co-hosting the Channel 5 Summer Roadshows and Robot Wars. For ITV; Rescue Robots, Scary Sleepover, Skillicious and CiTV and she has also fronted various shows in the USA, the most memorable for At It Productions on the hit movie starring Amy Adams, Enchanted.
In 2005, Anna joined GMTV where she co-presented with Jamie Rickers on the number 1 rating kids show, Toonattik. After 6 years on the successful show, the duo were snapped up by Nickelodeon to host ‘Jamie and Anna’s U Pick Summer’ and then ‘Jamie and Anna’s Big Weekend’. Together, they have completed over seven separate series for Nickelodeon, including popular fanzine show ‘Anubis Unlocked’. Last summer, they completed their second season of hit series, ‘Camp Orange’ and also toured their adventure game show ‘Boys v Girls – The Ultimate Challenge’.
Anna has hosted the Main Stage at Bounce Festival, the sold-out Nickelodeon Skills Awards and the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, interviewing the likes of Snoop Dog, Jack Black, Will Smith and One Direction.
This year, Anna took part in ITV’s celebrity diving show Splash! where she got through to the semi-finals and was the last female left in the competition. She is also regular on ITV’s Daybreak and Lorraine, where she has covered everything from celeb interviews to current affairs and regularly hosts the weekly competitions. Due to her natural interest, tenacity and passion to bring the latest showbiz news to the masses, she is considered a highly credible source within the industry and her entertainment column in Digital Spy regularly gets over 100,000 hits.
In addition to her television and stage career, Anna is a keen charity supporter and is very proud of her ambassador roles for The Princes Trust and The Young Variety Club. In 2009 she gained a Diploma in Counselling and went on to join Childline as a qualified and practicing volunteer counsellor. Her experience and caring nature have led to her own agony aunt column for teen magazine, Girl Talk and several weekly strands called ‘#Ask Anna’ on ITV daytime show This Morning. Due to the features great success, Anna has been invited back to join Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langford on This Morning over the summer.
In 2013 Anna was also appointed as an an official ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind. She now talks openly about her own battle with severe anxiety and panic attacks and has hosted several events and debates surrounding this topic, including the ‘Time for Change’ media conference for Channel 4.
A registered Life Coach, Anna has also gained a hugely reputable media profile as a ‘mind, body and soul’ campaigner, and top-selling health magazine Top Sante have recruited her as their agony aunt. Anna will be on hand, giving advice and support through monthly reader questions, regular Facebook chats and ad-hoc columns.
Anna is also a versatile voice over artist and credits include Sony, GMTV, ITV, Channel 4, Nickelodeon, MTV and Living TV.
For more information on Anna, go to – http://www.annawilliamson.co.uk/
George Stiles (Music) and Anthony Drewe (Lyrics), Creative Patrons
George Stiles: Music
Anthony Drewe: Book & Lyrics
Stiles and Drewe are a multi award-winning musical theatre writing partnership. They have written the scores for the Olivier Award nominated BETTY BLUE EYES, SOHO CINDERS, HONK!, JUST SO, PETER PAN – A MUSICAL ADVENTURE, TUTANKHAMUN and the new songs, dance and vocal arrangements for the world-wide smash-hit Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of MARY POPPINS. Since winning the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, HONK! has been seen by more than 6 million people all over the world in over 8,000 productions in more than 20 languages.
Current projects include WIND IN THE WILLOWS with Julian Fellowes for the West End, a new adaptation of Graham Greene’s TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, and a new version of HALF A SIXPENCE for Cameron Mackintosh. All three will have their UK premieres in 2016. In development they have SOAPDISH for Broadway, and a new project with director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell.
Stiles and Drewe have also completed a trilogy of 50-minute musicals for younger audiences, GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF and THREE LITTLE PIGS, which recently enjoyed a run at London’s Palace Theatre.
Independently, George composed the musicals MOLL FLANDERS, THE THREE MUSKETEERS and TOM JONES, and the music for Sam Mendes’ productions of TWELFTH NIGHT and UNCLE VANYA.
Anthony has written lyrics for the musicals THE CARD and A TWIST OF FATE.
Stiles and Drewe have written two revues, and have contributed songs to a variety of theatre, TV and radio shows including the RSC’s SHAKESPEARE REVUE, the National Theatre’s CHAIN PLAY and Dame Edna Everage’s LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU.
Stiles and Drewe’s many awards include: The Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical (Honk!), three of the top prizes at the International Musical of the Year Awards for Peter Pan and The Three Musketeers, the TMA Best Musical Award (Moll Flanders), The Straits Times Award for Best Musical (A Twist of Fate), the first ever Vivian Ellis Prize (Just So). Mary Poppins has won 45 major theatre awards around the globe including Tony, Olivier, Helpmann and London Evening Standard Awards.
George and Anthony recognise new musical theatre writing via their annual “Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize”, now in its 9th year, and in 2016 launched their new “Mentorship Award” supported by Music Theatre International (MTI). They are also founding board members of Mercury Musical Developments (MMD).
Diane Langton, Performer Patron
Diane trained at the Corona Academy and started her professional career as a dancer, touring with ballet companies throughout Europe, followed by appearances on That Was The Week That Was and the London Palladium.
In 1968 Diane won the part of Jeanie in Hair. She later worked with Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, and twice appeared at the Royal Court Theatre in Tooth of Crime andTee Zee. Her many West End Musicals inc: Jesus Christ Superstar, Two Gentlemen of Verona , Petra in A Little Night Music (directed by Hal Prince); Fastrada in Pippin (directed by Bob Fosse), Diana in A Chorus Line (directed by Michael Bennett) Angel in The Rink , Heather in I’m Getting My Act Together , Molly Molloy in Windy City , Silvia in Stepping Out ; Side by Side by Sondheim; How Lucky CanYou Get; Songbook ; Vi in Nell Dunn’s Steaming ; Grizabella in Cats (New London); Mama Morton inChicago (Adelphi); Carlotta in Follies (Royal Festival Hall) and the Birdlady in Mary Poppins (Prince Edward)
Other theatre credits inc: The Courtesan in The Comedy of Errors (National and Worldwide tours for the RSC);Pearl Lamont in Johnny On A Spot and Miss Lucie in Sweet Bird of Youth; Guys and Dolls (all National Theatre). She also developed a biographical musical What I Did For Love (RNT Studio), which as showcased to great acclaim.
On TV Diane achieved national recognition for her part as Kathy Roberts in two hit series of The Rag Trade , and more recently as Nana McQueen in Hollyoaks ; Bev , Cindy Beale’s mother in Eastenders (BBC); Ruby Rowan , Nick Berry’s mother in Heartbeat and Junie , Del’s girlfriend in Only Fools and Horses. Her many other TV appearances inc: Alas Smith and Jones; Bergerac; Minder; Streets Apart; Boon; Starburst; Carry On Laughing; How To Be A Little Sod; Tonight at 8:30pm; The Bill; Doctors; Holby City; The Best of the Royal Variety Show and her own TV special Let There Be Langton.
Diane’s recording credits inc : I Can Talk To You (EMI); Climbin (PYE) and many cast recordings. The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber ; Bianca in a new recording of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate (TER). She was invited by Marvin Hamlisch in 1978 to appear with him in concert at The Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In the same year Diane was given the honour of being invited to appear in the first of two Royal Variety Performances in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, the second being in 1982. She has had much success with her one-woman show with appearances at The Green Room and Pizza On The Park.
Lara Pulver, Performer Patron
Known for her work on stage and TV shows such as Sherlock, Lara recently costarred in the hit mini-series Fleming with Dominic Cooper and will soon appearing in the new Tom Cruise feature film Edge of Tomorrow.
Starting out with a successful career on stage, Lara was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award and a Theatregoers Choice Award for her of Lucille Frank in Parade at The Donmar Warehouse. Critics praised production, ‘Completing the cast is Lara Pulver, who follows her quite performance in Jason Robert Brown‘s The Last Five Years at the Chocolate Factory last year with another outstanding portrayal as Frank. She has now surely established herself as one of finest musical theatre performers in the UK.’ broadwayworld.com. Lara’s screen career has included roles in television series’ such as Robin (BBC), True Blood (HBO) and Spooks (BBC). She is most well-known for portrayal of Irene Adler in the BAFTA award winning BBC series Sherlock. Lara is currently a series regular on US TV show Da Vinci’s Demons and after returning to the stage this autumn playing Louise in the musical Gypsy alongside Imelda Staunton at the Chichester Festival Theatre, she will be reprising the role in the West End.
Lara’s previous theatre work includes: Uncle Vanya at The Festival Theatre; Parade at The Donmar Warehouse and Mark Taper Theatre, Los Angeles; Into The Woods at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Last Five Years at The Menier Chocolate Factory; Miss Saigon Cameron Mackintosh Ltd; The Royal National Theatre’s Honk! directed by Julia McKenzie; Beau Jest at The Hackney Empire; High Society directed by Ian Talbot; A Chorus Line at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre directed by Nikolai Foster; The Boy Friend at the Theatre Royal Windsor and UK tour; Chicago UK tour; Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street UK tour; Grease at the Victoria Palace Theatre, West End; The Wizard of OZ at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Primrose Larkin in The Darling Buds of May UK tour.
As a teenager, Lara’s passion for theatre was ignited from working extensively with the National Youth Music Theatre appearing in numerous productions including Pendragon at The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, The City Center Theater, New York and The National Theatre, Taipei.
Lara most recently appeared as Louise in the critically acclaimed revival of Gypsy, first at CFT then at the Savoy Theatre. Her performance won her an Olivier award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Ria Jones, Performer Patron
Ria Jones was born in Swansea South Wales. At 19, she became the youngest actress ever to play the role of Eva Peron in the musical “EVITA”. Followed shortly by her west end debut in the musical “CHESS”, in which she played both Svetlana and Florence. She then went on to play Grizabella in “CATS” at the New London theatre, where she stayed for two years. Her next theatre role was Fantine in “LES MISERABLES”, at Manchester’s Palace Theatre, followed by the national tour, and the west end. Then came the role of the narrator in “JOSEPH AND HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT” at the Appollo Hammersmith, and the national tour. Other credits include “ROMANCE ROMANCE” at the Bridewell Theatre, playing both Josephine and Monica. Necrophorous in “NINE” at the Donmar Warehouse. Kim in the European premiere of the musical revue “PERSONALS” at the New End Theatre, Hampstead.And she created the role of Emma West, in “A TWIST OF FATE” at the Jubilee Theatre, Raffles, Singapore. Petra in Stephen Sondheims “A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC”, at the Leicester Haymarket. Ida in “HONK” at the Victoria theatre, Singapore. The title role in the European premiere of “VICTOR VICTORIA” at the Bridewell Theatre. Liz Imbrie in “HIGH SOCIETY” Uk tour 2004/5, and the Shaftesbury theatre. Reno Sweeney in the 2006 national tour of “ANYTHING GOES”. Which she was nominated for a TMA award for best performance in a musical . Mrs Overall in “ACORN ANTIQUES” UK tour 2006/7 directed by Victoria Wood. Alex Spofford in “THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK” UK tour. Guest vocalist on “STRICTLY COME DANCING” the Professionals tour, CLOSER THAN EVER at the Landor Theatre, London, Dorothy Brock in 42nd ST,at The Curve, Leicester and The Witch in Stephen Sondheim’s “INTO THE WOODS” at the wonderful Esplanade Theatre, Singapore. Ria is currently rehearsing JERRY’S GIRLS which has it’s London premiere at The St James studio theatre in March.
Workshops include creating the role of Norma Desmond in “SUNSET BOULEVARD” at Sydmonton Festival. Stephen Sondheims MASTERCLASS at St Catherines college Oxford, Mercedes in “CARMEN NEGRA” at the Royalty Theatre, London. And “ZORRO” the musical at The Old Vic theatre, London.
Concerts have taken Ria worldwide. South Africa, Singapore, Shanghai, France, Belgium. She regularly is a guest soloist in Denmark, singing with all the major orchestras. In 2009, she was a guest soloist for the Danish Royal family at the concert house at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. She has appeared as a soloist with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall. Sung by personal request at Buckingham Palace for The Duke Of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. As a soloist with The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra. A guest soloist in “Children Will Listen”, celebrating the work of Stephen Sondheim at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane. “A Night Under The Stars” with Bryn Tyrfel at his annual festival in North Wales. Mary Magdelene in “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR” at the Barbican theatre, Eva Peron in “EVITA” in concert, Highams park Chelmsford. Fantine in “Les Miserables” in concert Cardiff Castle. And “MISSLEADING LADIES” at St Davids Hall Cardiff, which she co- devised with her brother Ceri Dupree. And in March this year again as a guest soloist in the “Best Of Broadway” at the Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
She has recorded her own TV show “One Night Only With Ria Jones” for BBC Wales. Guested on three Royal Variety shows for the BBC, aswell as appearing on numerous TV chat shows and radio shows. Including “Friday Night Is Music Night” for BBC Radio 2. And recently “Welsh In The West End” for ITV1 Wales.
Recordings to date are “Les Miserables” Manchester cast recording. Soloist “A Tribute To Hal Prince”. Kim in “Personals”. Emma West in “A Twist Of Fate”. Guest soloist on Pier Nielsen’s album “My Way” (which went platinum), and Jesper Lundgaard’s Album “Symphony For My Love”. Both recorded with The Sonderyllands Symphony Orchestra. “Abbaphonic”, and “The Music Of Rodgers And Hammerstein” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. “Its Better With A Band” with the Prinsens Musikorps, And her recently launched album “Have You Met Miss Jones?”
Most recently Ria has been understudy for Glenn Close at the ENO’s production of Sunset Boulevard
Board of Advisors
Debbie O’Brien, Casting Director
West End productions include : In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Sinatra, American Idiot, Dusty, Thriller Live, Show Boat (children’s casting), The Bodyguard (children’s casting), Kinky Boots (children’s casting), Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Grease, Flashdance, Piaf, The Snowman, Respect La Diva, The King and I, The Harder They Come, Showboat, Dancing in the Streets, The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Saturday Night Fever, Fame, Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, Mum’s the Word, Daisy Pulls It Off, Napoleon, Madame Melville, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, La Cava, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Rocky Horror Show, Soul Train, Rent, Always, Steaming, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Disgracefully Yours.
UK tours include : Laila, a new Musical, Jackie the Musical, Let It Be, Footloose, American Idiot, Dirty Dancing, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Crush the Musical, Thriller Live, The Bodyguard and Annie (children’s casting), Dancing in the Streets, The Threepenny Opera, Our House, Soul Sister, I Was a Rat, Carnaby Street, 51 Shades of Maggie, Doctor In the House, Hormonal Housewives, Grease, Tell Me On a Sunday, Cacophony, Menopause the Musical, Flashdance, Defending the Caveman, The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas, Mahabharata, Sweet Soul Music, Starlight Express, Anything Goes, What a Feeling, Dirty Dusting, Mack and Mabel, The Misanthrope, A Chorus Line, A Tribute to the Blues Brothers, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Rocky Horror Show, Soul Train, Wild Animus.
Regional and international productions include : Priscilla Queen of the Desert (NCL), West Side Story, Red Snapper, The Sisterhood, Medea, Singing in the Rain, Legally Blonde, Cougar, Cats (RCCL), Midsummer Songs, The BFG, Evolution, South Pacific, Sister Act, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, Merry Wives of Windsor and Twelfth Night, Jackie the Musical, Hairspray, Starlight Express (Bochum and international tour), Fame, Alice In Wonderland, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Hair, The Opera Show, Soul Sister; Little Shop of Horrors, The Corstorphine Road Nativity, White Christmas, And Then The Dark, Mods and Rox, Robin Hood, Noises Off, It’s a Wonderful Life, Laurel and Hardy, Blues in the Night, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes, The Sound of Music, Me and My Girl, Little Shop of Horrors, Guys and Dolls, Crazy For You, Oklahoma!, The Opera Show and The Pirates of Penzance, Amadeus, The Snowman; Side by Side by Sondheim, Only You Can Save Mankind and 100% Sex Therapy
Recorded media : Waybuloo, Grandpa In My Pocket, What’s Your News?, Buddy Patrol, Tic Toc, Quick Quack Duck, Grease is the Word, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria , Amahl and the Night Visitors, Planet Cook, Energy.
Other experience includes : UK Tour manager for Mark Morris Dance Group, Tricia Brown Dance Company, Stephen Petronio Dance Company, Elizabeth Streb Dance Company; Acting Administrative Director, Dance Umbrella; General Manager, Maybox Theatres; General Manager, Theatre of Comedy and Shaftesbury Theatre; European consultant, Pace/Turnstyle Ltd; Project Manager, Peacock Theatre refurbishment; Deputy Project Manager, Sadler’s Wells redevelopment.
Alexandra McLean-William, Theatrical Agent & Producer
Alexandra founded McLean-Williams Management in 2001 in response to demand from a growing number of respected actors for a more dedicated and personal style of representation.
Prior to that, Alexandra was a highly influential public relations consultant in the entertainment industry, handling personal press, publicity and promotional requirements of numerous high caliber actors and theatre productions.
Alexandra has also worked on the launch of two entertainment magazines one for the highly successful “Time Out Group” and the other for “Express Newspapers”.
She was also notably, on the launch team of “Classic FM”, the first commercial classical radio station in the UK. The highly successful launch helped to establish the station as one of the most popular in the UK.
Most recently, Alexandra and Robin Cousins, MBE, who have worked together on a number of projects, have now set up their own theatre production company MWC Theatrical. They are hoping to stage their first West End production in 2011/12 in partnership with ACT Productions.
Outside of her working life Alexandra has been closely involved with a number of prestigious charities helping their fundraising efforts.
McLean-Williams Management is a member of The PMA (Personal Managers Association) and Women in Film & Television.
For more information see the agency website at:-
ANDY BARNES, Producer
Andy trained at Central School of Speech & Drama.
He is Executive Producer of Perfect Pitch, a company he and partner Wendy, created for the development and production of new British musical theatre which has led to several productions, notably The Go-Between starring Michael Crawford (West End & West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal & Derngate, Northampton & Derby Live) Winner Best Musical Production at UK Theatre Awards & nomination for Best Regional Production – Whatsonstage.com awards; Lift (Soho Theatre) nominated for Best Original Music – Whatsonstage.com awards; The House of Mirrors & Hearts at the Arcola Theatre; and From Up Here (South Hill Park).
There have been several international productions of their shows New York, Tokyo, Mexico, Belgium & the world premiere of Through The Door in Korea. Forthcoming productions include; Danny Hero at the Core Theatre, Corby and Pieces of String shortly to be announced for 2017.
Andy received the Stage One Producers Bursary in 2006 and has independently produced a number of productions including ; The Wiz (Hackney Empire); Departure Lounge (Edinburgh, New York, London & Chicago) nominated for Best New Musical in the Whatsonstage.com Awards; When Harry Met Sally (UK Tour); Tell Me On A Sunday (UK Tour); Days of Hope (Kings Head); Dr. Foster (Menier Chocolate Factory) produced in association with the RSC Fringe; Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Gene Frankel Theatre, New York) and Dreams Come Out to Play (Birmingham Rep and UK Tour).
Tanya has worked as a Theatrical agent since 1993, she then bought out the other partner in MORGAN AND GOODMAN (est. 1980) in 2004 recently changing the name of the company to TMG London. She represents leading artists in every genre of the business – Film, TV, Commercials, Theatre and Musical Theatre – and has also helped British artists establish themselves successfully in America. She looks after a small number of creatives, Casting Director, Musical Directors and writers and is very hands on in developing the projects of the writers and even co-producing their work with established producers. Tanya has a very personal style of management; looking after her artists rather than just representing them. And by managing to keep her list select over the years, she believes has allowed her the time to personally develop her actor’s careers, running the definition of a Boutique Agency.
One of the most fulfilling things about being an agent, (aside from nurturing the careers of new actors), is in having a very long working relationship with her clients; indeed, she has represented some of her actors since the very beginning of her and their careers, working with and supporting them throughout.
More recently, Tanya has established a new arm of the agency; M&GKids. Despite having a partner to run the kids division, she has been hands on with auditioning the kids and discovering the new talent. The enthusiasm of these children is infectious and, thus far, the enterprise is proving to be very rewarding. Although small and it will remain so, M&GKids already has children starring in the West End, on Feature Films, TV Drama and in many Commercials.
Having begun her career in London working as a model, Tanya can readily identify with the casting process on the other side of the camera. She moved on to work in Production, with a company based at Pinewood studios. This work took her filming across America and Europe where, aside from filming many Politicians and stars, she was lucky enough to work with such legends as Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Quentin Crisp, (whom she filmed in his favourite New York restaurant).
Tanya is married to actor/writer David Bardsley, giving her a valuable insight into the workings of an actor’s mind! They live in London with their three children, the middle one has already made her West End debut at the age of 11!
Tanya is a member of Women in Film and Television and BAFTA.NB The MTA have the right to change the faculty – however we will always guarantee that all staff are still currently working in the industry, have a substantial CV of West End (or equivalent) credits and all of whom are experienced teachers.