‘Your faith has been inspirational. I am amazed at what we have all learned and become in the last year. Your pride and belief in us has made all the difference.’ Ruth Bratt Graduate

Judith Pollard - Acting & Audition Director | Joint Artistic Direction of The Bridge

Judith trained at Italia Conti Stage School and The London School of Dramatic Art and has worked extensively as an actress in theatre and television. Theatre credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, A Taste of Honey, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, Tartuffe, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Ruffian on the Stair. Television credits include Blithe Spirit, Testament of Youth, War and Peace, Dr Who, The Onedin Line, Sentimental Education, Wives and Daughters, and Little Women. As a designer her work includes productions of Fatale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Cherry Orchard, The Winter’s Tale, Road, Romeo and Juliet, and The House of Bernarda Alba.

Mark Akrill - Technique & Voice | Joint Artistic Director of The Bridge

Mark has a degree in Drama, English and Education and studied at Hull. His credits as a director and performer include national tours of Jazz Audience, The Recruiting Sergeant, and Poem. Other directing credits include Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Good and Faithful Servant, Road, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Fatale, The Cherry Orchard, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, The House of Bernarda Alba, Under Milk Wood, and Entertaining Strangers. His most recent writing credits are Fatale, The Mystery Plays (a re-interpretation of the Medieval originals) and his acclaimed one man West End show Waiting for Hate Mail which played at the Ambassadors Theatre.

Alex Olesen - Company Administrator

Alex comes from a musical background with a Bachelors in Modern Music and a Masters in Composing For TV & Film. He has done the soundtracks to a number of short films; one of which won an award at a film festival run by the British Film Institute. He is also an aspiring writer and has created numerous scripts and screenplays. Alex is in charge of The Bridge’s digital marketing and administration.

Ruth Bratt - Improvisation

Actress, improviser, writer and founder member of the Olivier Award winning musical troupe The Showstoppers whose improvised musicals have played at countless UK venues including, in the West End, The Ambassadors, and The Criterion. Most recently, Ruth has filmed Ministry of Curious Stuff (BBC) with Vic Reeves, and Ricky Gervais’ new sitcom Derek (Channel 4). She voiced several characters in both series of Mongrels (BBC3) and was Marion in Sarah Millican’s Support Group (Radio 4). Credits include: Fast & Loose (BBC2), Doctors (BBC1), Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show (BBC3), Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive (BBC3).

Samuel Julyan - Professional Studies & Student Career Development

Samuel Julyan produces across a variety of theatrical disciplines and genres. Samuel has worked for Bill Kenwright Ltd on UK/International Touring shows including Evita, Laughter in the Rain, and Blood Brothers. From new musical theatre to verbatim, Samuel has a diverse and eclectic portfolio of work. Recent Credits include: Aeneid: The Journey (Oxford Playhouse), Little Women the Musical (Off-West-End Nomination for Best New Musical), Poe: Macabre Resurrections (Church Street Theatre), La Chunga (Church Street Theatre/West End), Pins and Needles (Cock Tavern Theatre, Time Out Fringe Show of 2010), The Pope’s Wedding (Cock Tavern Theatre). For more information on Samuel’s work please visit

Elizabeth Cadwallader - Acting

Elizabeth’s training includes Clown and Le Jeu at L’ecole Gaulier (Paris) and The Bridge Theatre Training Company (London) She is a passionate teacher of Acting specializing in Character Development, Text Analysis, Classical text, and Audition Technique. Experience includes: Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Taming of the Shrew, The Killing of Sister George at the West End’s Arts Theatre, The Watermill Theatre’s production of Patrick Barlow’s Ben Hur, and The Humans at The Schouwberg Theatre-NL, BAM- New York and Festival D’Avignon- France. Television & Film includes Holby City and Doctors and she can be seen in Season 5 of Game of Thrones as Lollys Stokeworth.

Mark Bowden - Guest Director & Tutor

Mark works internationally as an actor, director and producer in theatre, film, and TV. His award winning performances include leading roles in five West End shows, many world tours and British premieres, along with numerous appearances on British and USA network television. He has played lead roles in European independent film and supporting roles in Hollywood studio film. Mark has founded three theatre companies, directing and producing across Europe. He is a renowned expert on human behaviour with three published books including Winning Body Language (McGraw-Hill 2010) and Tame The Primitive Brain (Wylie 2013).

Richard Usher - Radio

Richard is an experienced professional voice-over artist, writer, broadcaster, supporting artist, and sound designer. With a BA (Hons) in Media from the University of Lincoln and over twenty years of radio experience, Richard has worked for clients across the media, including the BBC, YOPA, Sweet Cherry Publishing, National Museums Liverpool, Garnet Education, and many more. As a writer and producer Richard has made many documentaries for BBC Radio on subjects like film music and the life of Tony Bennett. Professional stage work includes ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘The Goon Show!’

Gari Jones - Guest Director

Gari Jones is a Director and Writer with over twenty-five years of experience. His work has been seen at many theatres including the Royal National Theatre, The Almeida, The Old Vic, The Young Vic, The Tricycle, The Arcola, numerous Fringe Theatres, in the West End and on Broadway, as well as with companies like Oxford Stage (now Headlong) and English Touring Theatre. He has also directed internationally including work in Germany, America, Finland, Mexico, India, Italy, and France. He also teaches and directs at many Drama Schools.

He had a long association with Harold Pinter directing many of his plays and him, as well as collaborating as his associate, both in the UK and Internationally, including the Lincoln Center, New York’s Pinter Festival.

Gari was nominated for the Arts Foundation Playwriting Fellowship by Harold Pinter. He has written a large number of plays and adaptations and created a lot of site-specific and cross-art work.

Andrew Ashenden - Stage Combat

Andrew Ashenden has worked as an Equity fight director in television, film, and theatre. His credits include: BBC Wales on the Soap POBOL Y CWM since 2006, Welsh National Opera, The National Theatre of Wales, The Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath, The Globe (touring Company), Bute Theatre Wales, Birmingham Stage Company, and Harrogate Theatre to name but a few. Andrew is also a Founding Member of the Academy of Performance Combat (A.P.C.), and the resident fight teacher for Guildford School of Acting (G.S.A), Royal Academy of Music (R.A.M) (based in London), and the University of Lincoln. Also the author of Basics of Stage Combat: Unarmed and its sequel which is due out later this year.

Lucy McNally - Guest Professional Studies Tutor

Lucy trained at The Bridge in 1998/1999 and went on to work with the English Shakespeare Company.

In 2005 she left acting and began work at the (then) newly-opened Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark, a full time producing theatre. Now a multi award-winning venue, the Chocolate Factory has produced work across the world, including current shows in the West End and on Broadway.

Lucy has worked on over 50 shows in production and casting, and now takes a main role as Head of Communications & Development.

Francesca Jaynes - Guest Choreographer

Choreographer on Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows. She devised Jude Law’s robotic movement for Steven Spielberg’s in A.I, choreographed for Mike Leigh on Vera Drake and Topsy Turvy.
Extensive theatre credits include: After Life, The Threepenny Opera and The Day After Tomorrow (National Theatre), Stephen Fry’s Cinderella (The Old Vic), and shows for The Theatr Clwyd, The Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Liverpool Everyman, and Holland Park Opera.
Numerous TV credits include: The Trip, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen, Tipping the Velvet, Hustle, The Vice, Foyle’s War, Sons and Lovers, In a Land of Plenty, Miss Marple, and Alan Bleasdale’s Melissa.

Huw Prall - Period Dance

Head of Dance Education at The Globe Theatre, Huw originally trained as a classical dancer and went on to study allied dance forms, as well as acting and singing. His first professional engagement was in a touring production of Dick Whittington followed by My Fair Lady at the New London Theatre. Theatre credits include The Winslow Boy (Ronnie), Woman in a Dressing Gown (Paul), Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Field), Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod), Chicago (Mary Sunshine). Film/Television credits include Poirot, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, and The Young Victoria. Choreographic Credits include The Rivals (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Pygmalion (New London Theatre). Huw has recently completed a biography of the late British actress, Diana Dors, which is currently with a publisher and will be making its debut in either late 2017 or early 2018.

Kate Lush - Movement

Kate has extensive experience as a movement director and trained as an actor/physical theatre performer in Poland with multi-award winning company, Song of the Goat Theatre. While there she had the privilege of working not only with the company but also the late Zygmunt Molik (see Grotowski — Towards a Poor Theatre) on body and voice. Since training and working as an actor for companies such as Trestle Theatre Company, Dirty Market Theatre, Moon Fool and Horla, in the West End, on tour and abroad, she has also taught widely. She directed Olga’s Room which is performing in Luxembourg and subsequently at The Arcola. Assistant director on Some Girls are Bigger than Others, at the Lyric Hammersmith in a co-production with the Lyric, Dublin Theatre Festival and GHP (the producers of Stomp).

Gemma Wright - Voice

Gemma had been directing and teaching acting for over ten years before she decided to follow her love of speech and accents and pursue a Masters degree in voice. She holds an MA (Distinction) in Professional Voice Practice from the Birmingham School of Acting, a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and English from St. Mary’s University. Previous to her MA, she taught acting and directing both in the UK and in America, alongside directing 5 and 4 star shows at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Alongside her teaching at The Bridge and freelance practice, Gemma teaches voice and accents at ALRA, Birmingham School of Acting, Giles Foreman Centre for Acting and at Staffordshire University.

Maggie Zolinsky - Acting for Camera

Maggie is a specialist Stanislavski teacher. She trained at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and with Sam Kogan in London. Maggie has taught acting, scene study workshop, and acting for camera for 15 years. As a director, with her own A-Z Theatre Company, Maggie has directed plays by J.B Priestly, Thornton Wilder, and Tennessee Williams. She has also directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Slow Train for Izmire for the Southwark Playhouse. As an actor her film & TV credits include: A Touch of Frost, (Yorkshire Television), Neighbours (Grundy Productions), Acropolis Now, Golden Braid (Paul Cox). Theatre credits: Yelana (Uncle Vanya), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), and Charlotte Bronte in An evening of Words and Music at the Purcell Room. One of her major film credits was the lead in the contemporary silent movie ‘Stage’ directed by BAFTA winner Steve McQueen.

Jonathan Jaynes - Animal Studies

Jonathan has worked extensively as an actor in theatre performing at the National Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse, Watford Palace, and Leeds Playhouse. He was in the film ‘First Knight’ and has worked on many television programmes, including Down To Earth, September Song, Coronation Street, The Bill’ and ‘Eastenders. He has taught at The Bridge for several years and also currently teaches at LAMDA and London Centre of Theatre Studies.

Dannie Lu Carr - Guest Director & Tutor

Dannie is a Meisner Specialist whose directing work includes Top Girls, Marat/Sade, Look Back in Anger, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Death of a Salesman, A View From the Bridge, Mother Courage, O Go My Man, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Closer. As an actor she has played many roles on stage, radio and screen. Her voice has been used for BBC3 trailers, Eurosport documentaries, Classic FM idents and Children’s TV. Her first book, Brilliant Assertiveness, was published by Pearsons in May 2012. She is the Artistic Director of Wasted Poppy Productions.

Sam Spencer-Lane - Dance

Sam has recently been working on West Side Story at Kilworth House, Little Shop of Horrors at Theatr Clwyd, Flight at Holland Park Opera, and created the Choreography and Musical Staging for the European Premier of Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios.

Other West End credits include Barry Humphries’ Back With a Vengeance (Drury Lane, UK Tour, Australian Tour), Little Britain live (Apollo Hammersmith, UK Tour), Personals ( Lyric Theatre), Pack Rat confidential (Whitehall Theatre), Take Flight, Maltby and Shire, (UK Premier), Last 5 years, They’re Playing our song, and The Invisible Man all at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

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