“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
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
Rachael Crabtree | Marketing Manager & Company Administrator
Rachael is an experienced marketer, with a real passion for the written word, and has a keen eye for design. She has a Bachelors in English Literature and Creative Writing, and dapples in music journalism in her spare time. If she’s not interviewing musicians, or reviewing gigs, there’s a good chance she’ll be Lindy Hopping!
Rachael has just joined us, and cannot wait to start producing lots of exciting print and digital content. She also looks after all our administration – should you ever need any support, always feel welcome to reach out.
Robert Nicholas | Acting & Directing
Richard Usher | Radio
Richard is an experienced professional voice-over artist, writer, broadcaster, 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).
Vincent Manna | Movement
Vince trained in Ballet and Contemporary Dance at Rambert Dance School in London and returned to training later in life, this time on the BA in Acting at LAMDA. He has worked internationally as an actor, dancer, movement director, choreographer, and teacher. Vince has spent 15 years at LAMDA teaching movement for actors and devising movement theatre with students across the courses. He has also taught at Guildhall, ArtsEd, A.L.R.A, Rose Bruford, Mountview, R.A.M, The Theatre Workshop, 4th Monkey, The Absolutely Fabulous Theatre Company in Hong Kong, and the International Theatre of the Adriatic in Italy.
As an actor his credits include the role of Wimp in Wimp – his debut solo show that he wrote and performed, Krishna / Tolstoy in Phoenix Rising, Alpha Male in Wolf, and Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the realm of Shakespeare he has played the roles of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, Fenton in Merry Wives of Windsor, and Demetrius in Titus Andronicus – all performed at The Globe Theatre, Neuss, Germany. Film credits include The Hope Ruby and Love Robot, and for television, a guest lead in Doctors. As a dancer, Vince got his feathers out for a national tour of Mathew Bourne’s Swan Lake; a run at The Dominion theatre and a European tour followed.
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 who specialises in improvisation and comedy. She trained at RCS and is a longstanding member of Olivier Award Winning company, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. She also performs with her own improvisation company These Folk.
TV credits include; Urban Gothic (Channel 5), BAFTA winning series Class Dismissed (CBBC) and Definitely Not Newsround (CBBC) for which she wrote and created her own characters.
Radio credits include; Gemma Arrowsmith: Emergency Broadcast (BBC Radio 4) & The Simon Day Show (BBC Radio 4).
Theatre credits include; Mischief Movie Night (Riverside Studios/on tour), Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Mischief Theatre/West End), The Elephantom (National Theatre/West End), Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (West End/on tour), Robin Hood and Marian (New Vic), Bagpuss (Soho Theatre & Birmingham Rep), The Gathering (Theatre Abandon), Men Should Weep (Oxford Stage Company), The Fence (Wrestling School), Little Women (Theatreworks), BFG (Polka), Charlie and Lola (Polka & BBC Worldwide), Bad Girls (Polka & Watershed), The Seagull (Dundee Rep).
Panto credits include; Cinderella (Newbury Corn Exchange), Aladdin (Newbury Corn Exchange).
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).
Matthew Harrison | Voice
Matt trained as an actor at East15 and performed in national tours of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, he’s performed at the Southwark playhouse and Bath Theatre Royal’s Ustinov Studio space and brings a wealth of experience performing to a wide variety of audiences in almost every type of performance space. He gained a Masters qualification in Voice Studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and teaches voice fundamentals, accents, and vocal connection to text; he has taught at East15 and Rose Bruford before joining The Bridge Theatre Training Company.
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.
Madeleine Joyce | Voice
Originally from Australia, Madeleine trained as a mezzo-soprano at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has worked professionally as a singer and actor in both Australia and the UK. Becoming interested in a broader exploration of the voice, Madeleine completed a MFA in Voice Studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating with Distinction in 2021 and now also teaches at ALRA and the Brit School BritKids Programme.
Sam Angell | Movement
Sam is a Movement Teacher/Director & Actor who graduated from the BA Acting course at LAMDA in 2015. Since then, he has worked both as an actor (recent credits include Peter Pan, Regents Park Open Air Theatre; ISTANBUL: You’ll Never Walk Alone, Katzpace/Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Cat In the Hat, Curve Theatre/UK Regional Tour) and as a Movement Director (Moonfleece, Pleasance Islington; Heroes, Bridge House Theatre/Drayton Arms/Brighton Fringe; Tender Napalm, Kings Head Theatre; Mudlark, short film with Action Image Production). Previous work includes playing the title role in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Sam is also a co-director of award-winning theatre company From The Gut and is the Movement Consultant for OnAction.
Sam’s practice in movement draws from his training in dance (Scottish Ballet & David Hughes Dance Company), Martial Arts (Muay Thai & Boxing), Alexander Technique, Gymnastics, Calisthenics, Laban, Pure Movement & storytelling.
Crystal Yu | Guest Director
Crystal is an actor, filmmaker and educator and is best known for her performance as Dr Lily Chao in the BBC One award-winning medical drama Casualty.
She is currently filming on a Neil Gaiman project, and can also be seen on AMC’s Soulmates, HBO’s Industry, Netflix’s The Sandman and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby. She also stars alongside Claudia Black in the upcoming thriller feature set in the orbit of Mars, Deus, which is due to release in 2022.
As a filmmaker, Crystal’s short film horror/thriller Are You Sleeping was selected to premiere at the 2020 Frightfest Film Festival, and later received a nomination for Best Director Short Film at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival 2020.
Her second short film Questions to Love, which she wrote and co- directed received an Honorable Mention at the Arts Film Awards and was recently selected at the China Women’s Film Festival.
Originally from Hong Kong with roots in China, Crystal is one of the finalists for the 2020 Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA) for her contributions in Arts and Culture in the U.K. She is also one of the judges on The Blossom Awards, a platform created by one of the Members of Parliament to celebrate the success and contribution of the British Chinese Community in the United Kingdom.