Our team

David Mumeni

Artistic Director, Founder & Tutor

Actor, writer, and acting teacher, David Mumeni trained at Drama Centre London. His acting credits include work with The Royal Court, The Donmar, Hampstead Theatre, The Bush and Cheek by Jowl. Television Credits include; Fearless (ITV), Fresh Meat (Ch4), PhoneShop, Drifters (E4) and Cuckoo (BBC3). Film Credits include; The Inbetweeners Movie, The Huntsman: Winters War, Lost In London and Mission Impossible 6.  Alongside his acting, David has worked regularly as a facilitator for over 10 years specialising in work with young people. This includes positions with Dream Arts and The National Youth Theatre (NYT), where David has been an associate since 2013 .Over the past three years, both through his work at NYT and in his own time, David has delivered audition technique classes and private tutition to over 100 young people, many from low-income backgrounds. Students tutored by David have received places at actor training institutions such as RADA, LAMDA, Drama Centre, Oxford, Rose Bruford and Guildhall.


Ruth Milne

Producer and Project Manager

Ruth is an actor, facilitator and producer with over ten years professional experience. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she gained a B.A in Acting.  Her acting credits include work with companies such as The BBC, ITV, The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester,The Lyric Hammersmith, The Riverside Studios, The Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Sigma Films and The National Theatre of Scotland. Ruth is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Etch Theatre Company which discovers, nurtures and produces progressive new work. Etch is an associate company of The Pleasance Theatre London and a Forge company of The English Touring Theatre. Ruth’s facilitation experience includes work with Clean Break and with Geese Theatre Company where she was a full time theatre practitioner. Ruth has facilitated drama session and devised original work in settings including category A-D prisons, mental health secure units, pupil referral units, women centres and as part of probation services. Ruth has been Associate Producer on Open Door since it’s conception and launch in 2016, before taking on the role of Producer and Project Manager in 2018. 


London tutors


Stef O'Driscol

Stef is the Artistic Director of Nabokov and current Associate Director at Paines Plough and was previously the Associate Director at the Lyric Hammersmith.Stef was the original director of When Women Wee, now the motion picture The Powder Room, and was selected for the Old Vic New Voices New York Exchange scheme and 24 Hour Plays. Credits as associate include: Mogadishu and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Lyric Hammersmith, and Wasted by Kate Tempest at Paines Plough. Working with young people using the creative arts is at the core of her practice. For the past seven years she has extensively worked with schools, universities and theatre organisations including the Lyric Hammersmith, Oval House Theatre, Hoxton Hall and WAC Arts directing youth theatre productions and delivering and producing a variety of educational and participatory projects.


Gbolahan Obisesan

Gbolahan is a celebrated  writer and director. He is a Genesis Fellow of the Young Vic Theatre, and the director of critically acclaimed Cuttin it at the Young Vic in 2016. Gbolahan’s writing credits include work with Film4, Offstage Theatre, Theatre Uncut, The Unicorn Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and NYT. His stage adaptation of Pigeon English, the novel by Stephen Kelman is being published by Methuen. Gbolahan’s  directing credits include work with The Royal Court, The Young Vic, RSC and the National Theatre.  Gbolahan was awarded the Jerwood Award for directing and Bulldog Princep Director’s Bursary.

Anne Tyson

Anne works at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a core acting tutor and director and is an associate lecturer and director at the Drama Centre. She began in regional theatre in the UK, working in both classical and contemporary plays and musicals. Work in London included seasons at the Old and Young Vic and the Duke of York’s Theatre. She was a founder member of the new Music-Theatre Company, Direct Current. Her work on TV has included roles in Casualty, Coronation Street and Brookside. Her teaching and directing career began at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and developed back at Drama Centre where she was Course Director of the BA Honours Acting Course 2002-2010. She sits on the interview panel for the MFA in Directing at Birkbeck College and is part of the core team for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ongoing project Open Stages. She regularly gives both classical and contemporary audition workshops for The Mono Box.

Hannah Price

Hannah is an award winning theatre director, voice over director and a tv/film/commercials producer, as well as Co-Artistic Director and Founder of world renowned political new writing company, Theatre Uncut.

Her recent theatre work includes ‘Permanence’ at the Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, ‘Escape the Scaffold’ for Theatre 503 and The Other Room Cardiff, and ‘Run the Beast Down’ for The Marlowe Theatre and the Finborough (all 2017).  

Hannah (alongside TU’s amazing writers) has won two Fringe First awards, a Herald’s Angel award and the Spirit of the Fringe Award for her work with Theatre Uncut. She was Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse for 2012 and toured to New York with the all female ‘Julius Caesar’ at St Anns Warehouse in 2013. Hannah’s most recent Associate Director position was supporting John Malkovich on ‘Good Canary’.

Juliet Knight

Juliet is a lecturer at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and a regular tutor and director at Clean Break Theatre Company, The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Generation Arts and Central. Her directing credits include: The Day After by Miran Hadzic at The Vault Festival (Edinburgh Festival 2016). White Boy created and developed with the writer Tanika Gupta at Soho Theatre. Weekday Nights by Luke Barnes Unicorn Theatre and NYT. A Just Act by E V Crowe with Clean Break Theatre Company. Prime Resident by Stella Duffy at Soho Theatre. Talking to Byron by Tanika Gupta for The National Youth Theatre. Out of Me by Jane Bodie at Soho Theatre with NYT. Her recent acting credits include Caught in the Net by Ray Cooney at Vaudeville Theatre, Tomorrow by Sam Evans at The White Bear, The Smallest Story by R J Wilkinson at The Kings Head, Eastenders BBC, and the short films Faithless and Trivia.


Music Tutor: Abigail Rose

Along with working as an actor Abigail has been a vocal coach for many years, teaching privately and at several drama schools. Her vocal training started at Guildhall and then onto Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Abi also works as an associate for the National Youth Theatre and as a guest lecturer at University College London. 


Music Tutor: Hadley Fraser

Hadley made his West End debut as Marius in Les Misérables. He also originated the role of Tiernan in the Broadway show The Pirate Queen. He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2011. He appeared in the film adaptation of Les Misérables, and in the Donmar Warehouse's production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston. He also starred in the 25th Anniversary staging of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2011. He is the co-lyricist and co-book writer (with Josie Rourke) for the new musical Committee on the demise of Kids Company which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse from in June 2017. He will also star in the UK premiere of the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein in September 2017 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End, following a tryout run at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

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Sean Linnen

Sean is a theatre director from Manchester. He was previously Trainee Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres and Paines Plough in partnership with Arts Council England and Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse. He has worked as an assistant/associate for the National Theatre, Old Vic, English Touring Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, Manchester International Festival, Rose Theatre Kingston and Park Avenue Armory, New York. He is currently assisting Nicholas Hytner on his inaugural production at The Bridge Theatre and is also a selector for the National Student Drama Festival.

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Richard Neale

Richard trained as an actor at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has worked as an actor/teacher and director since graduating. He is now a full time acting teacher and director at Guildford School of Acting where he also sits on audition panels for the BA Acting course. He’s also an Associate Director for Actors from the London Stage, has assisted for Guildford Shakespeare Company and directs for Scaffold State Training Company. 


Jonathan Humphreys

Jonathan trained at Drama Centre London before working as an assistant director at the National Theatre and RSC. He was awarded the Regional Young Theatre Director bursary in 2010 to Sheffield Theatres where his work has received widespread critical acclaim and his production of Beckett's Happy Days won a TMA award. Other recent productions include: The Mighty Walzer (Manchester Royal Exchange); Romeo and Juliet, Boeing Boeing, The Village Bike (Sheffield Theatres); Oscar Wilde on Trial (Reading Gaol); The Hotel Plays (Defibrillator); Krapp's Last Tape, Spoonface Steinberg (Hull Truck); Mojo Mickybo (Trafalgar Studios); Moscow Live (Hightide). His first short film, The Send Off, was commissioned by BBC and has played at festivals internationally. Jonathan is a board member of Stage Directors UK and Associate Connections Director for the National Theatre. He has directed extensively within drama schools including LAMDA, Drama Centre, Guildhall and RWCMD. 


Alex Thorpe

Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz

Alex is a theatre director from Cumbria working across the UK. He has worked for organisations including The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Old Vic, Almeida Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, Soho Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, Little Angel Theatre & Finborough Theatre. He has worked extensively for drama schools including Arts Education, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and most recently Manchester School of Theatre. Later on this year he will direct The Comedy of Errors for the Royal Shakespeare Company.


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Hannah Joss

Hannah is a freelance theatre director. She is currently developing new work Paper Scissors Stone with writer/performer Katie Bonna and the Live Theatre Newcastle. Hannah was recently the Baylis Assistant Director at the Old Vic. Director credits include: Gidea Park and On the Shore of the Wide World (both at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), Eigengrau (Kings Head Theatre), The 11th Hour (the egg, Theatre Royal Bath), and That Moment (Crescent Arts, Belfast). Associate Director: The Adventure (Lyric Hammersmith) Assistant Director include: Woyzeck (Old Vic Theatre), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Royal Shakespeare Company).

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Matt Harrison

Matt is an award winning Director and Theatre Maker who trained at East 15 Acting School and with the National Youth Theatre. He was awarded the 2015 Bryan Forbes Bursary under the mentorship of Michael Attenborough CBE.  He has directed and created work at venues including the New Diorama Finborough, Ambassadors and Criterion Theatre’s as well as the National Theatre’s Temporary space. He is associate director to Emma Rice on Kneehigh’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and most recently collaborated with Olivier Award nominated writer James Fritz on his production of The Fall.

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Roy Alexander Weise

Roy is the 19th annual winner of the James Menzies-Kitchin Award and directed his critically acclaimed, sell out production of The Mountaintop at the Young Vic. Current and forthcoming productions include: Br'er Cotton (Theatre 503) and NINE NIGHT (National Theatre). His theatre credits include: Heretic Voices (Arcola Theatre); JEKYLL AND HYDE (National Youth Theatre); Dead Don't Floss (National Theatre) and Primetime (Royal Court). He was also the Trainee Director on Channel 4's Invisible. Roy is now Associate Director at the Harts Theatre Company and Lead Acting Tutor at Young & Talented School of Stage & Screen.

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Polly Bennett

Photo credit: Helen Murray

Polly Bennett is a Movement Director and Choreographer working in the broadest applications of movement both nationally and internationally. She holds an MA in Movement from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is Associate Movement Practitioner at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Recent theatre credits include: The Lehman Trilogy (National Theatre), As You Like It (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), People, Places and Things (National, West End and off-Broadway), Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), The Great Wave (National Theatre), Salome (RSC), The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre), Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s), The Maids (Trafalgar Studios), Yen (Royal Court), Nut (National Theatre), Hang (Royal Court).  Film: Bohemian Rhapsody, The Little Stranger, Stan & Ollie. TV: The Crown (Series 3), Killing Eve (BBC America), Urban Myths (Sky Arts), Gareth Malone’s Best of British (BBC One.) Events: She was Assistant Movement Director on the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and Mass Cast Choreographer on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. She is co-founder of The Mono Box.


Andrew Whyment

Andrew is a Director who stages new writing, devised work and fresh adaptations of classic texts. He is also an experienced facilitator of education and participation projects. He is based in London but has worked across the UK and abroad in countries including China, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and the USA. He is Artistic Director of award-winning theatre company, Squint. He is a graduate of the Birkbeck Theatre Directing MFA, an Associate of the National Youth Theatre and formerly Resident Assistant Director at Leeds Playhouse.


Sara Joyce

Sara is an award-winning director/writer. She most recently directed Hunch by Kate Kennedy and Best Life by Tamar Broadbent, both at Edinburgh Fringe, and Dust, written by Milly Thomas at Trafalgar Studios. 

Sara is one of last year’s Old Vic 12 artists. She is currently Associate Director with Irish theatre company Pan Pan. Previosuly, Sara was Resident Director at Almeida Theatre and Resident Assistant Director at Soho Theatre. She has worked as associate and assistant director with Dominic Dromgoole, Claire van Kampen, Gavin Quinn, Richard Eyre, Rupert Goold, Steve Marmion.   

Sara was shortlisted for the KSF Emerging Artist’s Award, is a recipient of the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprises and received an Off West End nomination for Best Director. She studied Drama at Trinity College Dublin and trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq. 


East Midlands Tutors


Ali Rashley

Alison trained at ITV’s Junior Television Workshop and worked as a professional actress for many years. She then went on to teach at the Television Workshop for over ten years during which time she was chosen to be mentored by award winning television director David Cobham and went on to direct episodes of award winning children’s programme “Bernard’s Watch”. She also both directed and wrote many plays that were performed at the Workshop during her 10 years there.

In 2007 Alison left the Workshop to se up “Circle Up Drama”, a group for young people living in more rural areas of the East Midlands.  At Circle Up Alison teaches over 150 young people every week. “Circle Up”is now also a casting agency and kids have gone on to roles for the BBC, in short films and in the West End. Several of Alison’s students have gone on to train at top drama schools including Arts Ed, Manchester Met, Mountview and East 15. 

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Donnaleigh Bailey

Donnaleigh trained as an actress at The Television Workshop, National Youth Music Theatre and The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. On graduating she has worked extensively in film and television including series regular roles in BBC’s Doctorsand ITV’s Coronation Street.In addition, Donnaleigh has performed in many theatre venues around the UK including the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and The Unicorn Theatre. 

Donnaleigh also trained as a fully qualified Drama Teacher at Warwick University, obtaining her PGCE and MA in Education.  Alongside her acting career, for the past seven years she has led the flourishing Drama Department at Trent College in Nottingham. She is the Artistic Director of The Trent Repertory Company, making and producing over 30 plays for young people in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.


Nic Harvey

Nic is Director of The Television Workshop in Nottingham, a globally-renowned, BAFTA-winning training ground for young actors from diverse backgrounds in the Midlands. The Workshop delivers naturalistic acting training and professional opportunities to over 400 young people in the region, and casting successes include double Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton, Jack O'Connell (Unbroken, Money Monster), Vicky McClure (This Is England, Line Of Duty), Aisling Loftus (War & Peace), Joe Dempsie (Skins, Game Of Thrones), Sennia Nanua (The Girl With All The Gifts), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard) and Erin Kellyman (Han Solo, Les Mis). 

As well as directing, devising and writing over 100 productions with young actors, Nic is also Artistic Director of Sheep Soup, a theatre company specialising in naturalistic contemporary musicals. Their flagship show Mrs Green enjoyed sell-out runs at Nottingham Playhouse, Leicester Curve and Edinburgh Fringe, and their latest show The Leftovers completed a highly-acclaimed national tour.  


Elli Mackenzie

Elli trained as an actress at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.  She has been a director of the Young Vic Youth Theatre and as an actress has worked as a professional actress for many years appearing in theatres across the country, in the West End and  international open air festivals and venues in Syria (Damascus, Aleppo, Homs) prior to the war and Jerash Festival in Jordan.

Elli has been responsible for casting and managing companies of actors for over thirty years as a producer of national and international tours of Shakespeare, educational work and forum theatre for the corporate world.  She is currently also responsible for the professional acting company who work all  year round at The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s family home, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. 

As a tutor, Elli has worked with students to achieve places at Nottingham TV Workshop, Guildhall, Bristol Old Vic, The NYT and NYT Rep, University of Birmingham. 


Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie

Siobhán is a freelance theatre director and maker who trained at The Television Workshop Nottingham and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Major Labia, an all-female sketch comedy collective who aim to smash the patriarchy through vaginal comedy. Their latest full-length show, Vulva La Revolution enjoyed sell-out audiences at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Nottingham Playhouse main stage, Derby Theatre, Curve and King's Head. Siobhán is also a founding member of Nottingham based collective The Party Somewhere Else, which exists to champion and showcase work made and led by women and non-binary people.

Recent directing credits include: The Elves and the Shoemaker (Nottingham Playhouse, Neville Studio), Vulvarine (Fat Rascal Theatre, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and UK tour), The Crucible (Curve and DMU), Astronauts of Hartlepool (by Tim Foley, Vault Festival – winner of the Origin's Award for Outstanding New Work).