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.
Judith Pollard | Joint Artistic Director 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
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 side, marketing, administration, videography, and photography.
Robert Nicholas | Acting & Directing
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!
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
Huw Prall | Period Dance
A Practitioner in Historical Dance for the Education Department at Shakespeare’s Globe, 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), and La Traviata directed by Sir Richard Eyre (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.) Film/Television credits include The Bill, Poirot, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, An Ideal Husband and The Young Victoria. Choreographic Credits include Mansfield Park (Redgrave Theatre), The Rivals (Jermyn Street Theatre), Pygmalion (Noel Coward Theatre), and Tarantella (Omnibus Theatre) Huw’s biography of iconic British actress Diana Dors “Passport to Fame” was published by The Book Guild in January 2018.
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).
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).
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.
Juliet Prague | Acting
Juliet Prague is a performer, director, voice artist and acting coach. She trained at Drama Centre. Recent work includes AfterLives – Athens and Epidaurus Festival 2017, ForgiveMeKnot co-director – Aorta Theatre, Be Good Revolutionaries – Dirty Market Theatre, Ovalhouse. She’s performed at the National Theatre and extensively in regional and fringe theatre as well as international tours. She has recorded over 30 talking books, coaches both actors and business people and runs a monthly story-telling event at Clapham Omnibus.
Susan Harrison | Improvisation
Susan is an Actress, Improviser & Award Winning Character Comedian. She has taken 5
of her own shows to the Edinburgh Fringe and is a member of Showstopper! The Improvised
Musical. Television credits include: topical sketch show DNN (CBBC). Most
recently she was a series regular in two series of BAFTA winning comedy show Class
Dismissed (CBBC). Theatre credits include: Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Mischief Theatre/West End), Heels of
Glory (Chelsea Theatre), Robin Hood & Marian (New Vic), The Elephantom (National Theatre/
West End), Bagpuss (Soho Theatre), Be Our Guest (BBC Sitcom Showcase),The
Gathering (Theatre Abandon), Hansel and Gretel (National Theatre of Scotland), Men
Should Weep (Oxford Stage Company), The Fence (Howard Barker’s Wrestling School)
Dannie Lu Carr | Guest Tutor & Director
Dannie is a Meisner Specialist whose directing work includes Fool For Love (award winning), Chamber Music, 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 C4 and BBC3 trailers, Eurosport documentaries, Classic FM idents, Charity Campaigns and Children’s TV. In 2015, Dannie gave the much-acclaimed TEDx Talk on The Inconvenient Truth for Culture. She is also a published author, poet, singer/songwriter, consultant and the founder of Creative Wavelengths (TM).
Alex Abbott | Singing
Alex has been a singing teacher for more than 20 years, working at Allen House and Hoe Bridge Schools, The Bridge Theatre Training Company and The Drama Centre, London as well as having numerous private pupils. His students have performed widely on stage, in productions including Parade, The Last Five Years, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Hot Flush (National tour), Stepping Out, Showgirl, The Wind in the Willows (Palladium) and The Room (to be performed at The Edinburgh Fringe 2019) TV and film, including Evita (dir. Alan Parker), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (dir. Tomas Alfredson) and Sweeney Todd (dir. Tim Burton). Notable pupils include Rufus Hound (One Man, Two Guvnors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Tom Mison (Lost in Austen, Sleepy Hollow).
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.
Simon Cotton | Acting
After graduating from the Bridge Simon played Ronnie Kray in Rise of the Krays and its sequel Fall of the Krays. Other leading roles in feature films include Gavin Turner in Undercover Hooligan, Paul Deitch in The Unseen and Adrian in the soon to be released Rise of the Footsoldier 3. He has just wrapped on RideBy, a 2018 release, and has been cast as Paulie White in Mob Priest, his first transatlantic film role. Television credits include Hugh Bryant in Emmerdale and Sir Robert Dudley in Bloody Queens for BBC2. This spring saw him finishing a long standing run of Action to the Word’s critical smash A Clockwork Orange which he helped workshop in 2009 and then play at Soho and Park Theatres in London as well as touring all over the world. Simon is also a writer. His first feature film has just been commissioned and will shoot late 2017.
Andy 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 Atkinson | Voice
Lucy studied at The University of Oxford before training in Acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She then pursued a career in Acting before qualifying as a teacher and completing a PGCE Drama at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. While teaching Drama and Acting for eight years Lucy developed an interest in Voice and Speech in performance and so she returned to Central to complete a Masters degree in Voice Studies, for which she was awarded the Julia Wilson-Dickson In Memoriam Scholarship. During her training Lucy taught Voice at the Young Actors Theatre, Islington and ALRA.
Michael Peters | Dance
Michael made his professional debut as Thad in the original London cast of Hairspray. Other Theatre includes Richie in A Chorus Line at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester, Thad in Hairspray German Tour (Zeltpalast, Merzig and Munich), cover Subway Ghost in the original cast of Ghost The Musical (Manchester Opera House and Piccadilly Theatre, West End), Dancer for Just Dance 2014/15 for the Jingle Bell Ball (O2 Arena), The Olivier Awards with Hairspray, Angie the Ox/cover Big Jule in Guys and Dolls at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Running Wild (Uk Tour) and Mr Montford in An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre). Television includes Dancer Little Mix on X-Factor, Dancer for Iceland Foods commercial, Chi Ice Tea commercial, Sony PlayStation commercial, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, Children in Need and The Royal Variety Show. Michael has recently appeared in the Feature film Mamma Mia: Here we go again!
Yvonne I’Anson | Professional Studies
Yvonne has enjoyed a long and varied career spanning more than 40 years, working as Publicist at York Theatre Royal; Publicity Officer at the Swan Theatre Worcester; Assistant and Acting General Manager at Watford Palace Theatre and Marketing Manager at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage. She worked as a Junior Agent for seven years and was a freelance Publicist/Marketing/General Management Consultant for 8 years. She was Marketing Manager at the New End Theatre in Hampstead before joining Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts as Head of Marketing, where she stayed for 13 years. In 2012 she joined the Associated Studios as General Manager, a position she held for two years before returning to freelance work. In September 2017, with business partner Sam Fox, she launched a new talent agency, F & I Associates, representing actors across a broad range of media. She sits on the Board of Iris Theatre Company (the in-house Theatre Company at St Paul’s Church Covent Garden) and The LOST Theatre Company.
Maggie Zolinsky | Screen Acting
Maggie Zolinsky is a specialist Stanislavski teacher. She trained at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, with Uta Hagan in New York and with Sam Kogan in London. Maggie has taught acting, scene study workshop, emotional truth, 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. This was shown to great critical acclaim as part of the ‘Spellbound’ Exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank. This film’s mix of tension and sexuality is winning praise in many parts of the world – it has also been shown at Film Festivals in Rotterdam and Berlin. Maggie teaches Screen Acting at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at The Bridge Theatre Training School.
Crystal Yu | Guest Director
Crystal is best known as Dr. Lily Chao in BBC’s award-winning drama Casualty. She recently completed filming on HBO’s Industry, directed by Lena Dunham, and will be appearing as Lynn in Netflix’s A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby in late 2019. Crystal appeared alongside Cherry Jones and Alessandro Nivola in Channel 4’s Chimerica which aired in the Summer of 2019, as well as an appearance in the new series of BBC’s Keeping Faith which was quite a challenge, as the show is filmed in both English and Welsh! As well as being an actress, Crystal is the patron of South London Inclusive Dance Experience (SLiDE). SLiDE is a registered charity and works tirelessly to create exciting and engaging dance opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.