Visiting Drama Specialists A wide range of visiting drama tutors and directors


Visiting Drama Specialists

Visiting Drama Specialists

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is proud to host a wide range of visiting tutors and directors, allowing us to offer a more varied and wider experience for our students.

(Photo. Director Bill Alexander teaching Shakespeare)

Acting Specialists

Maibel Aitken. Acting Tutor

Mabel trained at the RSAMD. Her MA in Performance Making and Methodology from Goldsmiths University sparked an interest in teaching and Actor training. She has taught at East 15 and still teaches at BADA. As an actress her extensive theatre career includes productions at The Young Vic, Donmar Warehouse and Southwark Playhouse as well as many regional reps.

Emma Callander

Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Uncut and Associate Artist of the Traverse Theatre. Teaches: Acting, Text

Jacquie Crago

Jacquie has worked extensively in Voice at the National Theatre, RSC, Headlong. She works as an actor and director and leads workshops in drama schools, universities and theatres throughout the country. Teaches: Acting, Text

Chris Donnelly

Extensive credits with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. Other theatre work includes: Macbeth and Twelfth Night (US Tours), The Winter’s Tale (Southwark Playhouse), Edge of Darkness (No 1 Tour). Chris also has numerous screen (ITV, BBC, Channel 4) and radio credits (BBC Radio 4). Teaches: Acting, Text

John Hartoch

Previous Head of Acting Courses at the Theatre School. During his early career John acted in repertory at Coventry, Birmingham, Lancaster and York. John has also written a musical, several original plays and a number of adaptations, all of which have been successfully staged. Teaches: Acting, Text, History of Theatre

Andrew Hilton
Former Artistic Director and Founder of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. During the early part of his career Andrew acted at the National Theatre and in the Bristol Old Vic company. Teaches: Acting, Text

Toby Hulse

Theatre maker, director and playwright whose work, whether scripted, devised or improvised, always has its roots in theatrical play. Toby has created work for theatres and companies across the UK, touring nationally and internationally. Teaches: Improvisation, Clowning, Adapts and Directs the Theatre-In-Education Spring Tour

Nancy Medina

Originally from Brooklyn, NY Nancy is a Genesis Future Director Award winner. At the end of 2017 she directed Yellowman at the Young Vic, London. Previous credits include productions at the Tobacco Factory, Rondo Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe. Teaches: Acting, Text

Chinonyerem Odimba

A playwright who has been shortlisted for many prestigious awards, Chinonyerem won the Sonia Friedman Productions Award 2018 for How To Walk On The Moon, written in association with Talawa Theatre under the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme. Chinonyerem is also a director and recently directed The Words Are Coming Now (Theatre503). Teaches: Text

James Peries

James is a Director, Producer, Writer & Deviser for Theatre, Radio & TV Drama. Alongside his freelance work since 2013 James has been the Literary Associate at Bristol Old Vic. Previously James has worked for the BBC (Reader, Producer, Development Editor) and as the New Writing Manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Teaches: Script Development, Radio

Chris Scott

Previous Head of Acting. Chris has extensive stage, screen and radio credits. Chris appeared in a recent final year film to conduct a marriage, combining his acting skills and real life experience as a Vicar. Teaches: Acting, Text, Radio

John Walton

Artistic Director of Fol Espoir, the company has toured work across the UK including Jermyn Street Theatre in London and Edinburgh Fringe. John has also directed shows at Arts Centre Melbourne in Australia, Soho Theatre, Roundhouse London.Teaches: Acting, Text, Devising

Stuart Wood

Over 30 years of working in Drama Schools, Course Director of Professional Acting Diploma run by Boomsatsuma. Teaches: Acting, Text

Voice and Speech Specialists

Kate Firth

Kate had a career as an actor before training at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama as a voice coach. She has studied psychotherapy and applied linguistics; and also writes and performs her own poetry. For more than 20 years she has coached actors, broadcasters, and individuals and groups in organisations including the NHS and the corporate sector and in politics at the highest levels. Teaches: Voice and Dialect Coach

Gary Owston

Having been Senior Voice and Dialect Tutor at the School for 20 years we are glad Gary still works for us on a part-time basis and as well as teaching on our full-time acting courses he is Course Leader for our summer Foundation Course. He has taught in most of the top London Drama Schools, Southern Methodist University in Dallas and The Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis. He also teaches at Boomsatsuma and is Director of the Bristol Acting Academy. Teaches: Voice and Dialect Coach

Joel Trill

Joel worked as an actor (RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, BBC) before training as a voice coach at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where he gained an MFA in Voice Studies. Joel works regularly as a voice over artist in animation, corporate media and commercial projects. Teaches: Dialect Coach

Amanda Carr

Amanda is a freelance Speech and Language Therapist and presents our annual ‘Vocal Health and Sustainability’ lecture. Prior to setting up an independent practice Amanda was Clinical Lead for Voice Therapy Services at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Music and Singing Specialists

Maureen Scott

Starting her career as a singer/actress working in Musical Theatre, Maureen now works with musical theatre singers, rock and pop stars and talented beginners finding the voice qualities they need to enhance their artistry. Maureen has been a vocal coach on numerous musicals in the West End and on tour. Teaches: Vocal Technique (masterclasses)

Ben Goddard

Numerous musical credits in the West End, Regents Park Open Air Theatre and on Tour. Teaches: Musical Theatre (masterclasses)

Mark Meadows

Mark is an actor and former Musical Director of The Swingle Singers. In addition to his numerous acting credits on stage, screen and radio, he has various theatre and recording credits as composer and arranger. Teaches: Singing Coach and Repetiteur

John Telfer

An actor, musician and composer, John has toured across the UK and is notable for playing the Revd Alan Frank in The Archers on BBC Radio 4. He has composed for shows with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Bristol Old Vic, as well as numerous BBC Radio 4 dramas, and on screen for the BBC and ITVTeaches: Musical Director

Charlie Ingles

Musical Director, Pianist, Orchestrator and Arranger, Charlie trained at Goldsmiths College on the BMus Classical Course and with NYMT. His numerous MD credits include: Top Hat (Upstairs At The Gatehouse), Imaginary – The Musical (The Other Palace), Billy The Kid (Leicester Curve). Recent Assistant Musical Direction includes: Flashdance The Musical (UK Tour), The Hired Man and Prodigy (St. James Theatre, London). Teaches: Repetiteur

Andy Sullivan

Andy has worked extensively as musical director, vocal coach, arranger and audition pianist. He has worked for commercial producers on West End shows and various UK Tours, as well as at top drama conservatories. Andy has also written new musicals and is an examiner in Musical Theatre. Teaches: Singing Coach and Repertoire

Derek Stuart-Clark

Derek trained at the Royal Academy of Music and is a freelance pianist. Teaches: Accompanist and Singing Coach

Richard Lennox

Richard is a virtuoso Musician who is a recording artist and live performer. He has worked in most genres of the music industry; from accompanying choirs, singers, instrumentalists to writing and arranging. Richard works extensively in Theatre, Cabare and major concert venues across the UK and Europe, including the world famous Royal Albert Hall. Rehearsal Pianist

Movement and Combat Specialists

Clare Fox

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dance & Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, Clare embarked on a career as a professional dancer touring both the UK & internationally. Following her move back to Bristol, Clare now specialises in Classical Ballet and Theatre Dance/Movement tutoring vocational students in the South West and is a freelance choreographer. Teaches: Ballet and Movement

Michelle Gaskell

A freelance choreographer and movement director, Michelle has worked for Bristol Old Vic, Salisbury Playhouse, The Tobacco Factory, English Touring Opera, Travelling Light, Wigmore Hall and is a regular collaborator with Myrtle Theatre Company. Teaches: Movement and Dance

Sue Gilbert

Sue has worked in the health and fitness industry since 1990 and has experience of working in many prestigious health clubs, as well as with actors and professional athletes. Sue was a medallist in UK Open and British Nationals Aerobics Championships. Teaches: Pilates

Lyndall Grant

Trained as an actor, Lyndall is a fight director and stage combat teacher with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. Lyndall is the director of Captivate Action, a company which specialises in action, movement and motion capture performance and training. Teaches: Motion Capture

Oliver Lee

Oliver Lee

Originally trained as an actor, Oliver is a senior ITM (Interactive Teaching Method) teacher and trainer. He teaches in the UK and internationally and has presented at the International Alexander Technique Congress. He is also a multi-award winning copywriter. Teaches: Alexander Technique.


Theatre Directors

Bill Alexander

An award winning freelance theatre director who began his career at Bristol Old Vic. Bill joined the RSC in 1977 and remained there until 1992 leaving as Associate Director. He was Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep 1992-2001.

Sally Cookson (pictured left)

An Olivier nominated Director, Sally is an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic, and a long-time collaborator with Travelling Light. Recent credits include: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Peter Pan, Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic, National Theatre).

Gemma Fairlie

During her career, as both Director & Associate Director, Gemma has worked for companies including: Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre, New Vic Theatre and The Orange Tree Theatre. She is Associate Director of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

David Mercatali

Currently Associate Director at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, David is an award-winning theatre director. Recent credits include: Insignificance by Terry Johnson (Arcola Theatre, first London revival in over 20 years), Blue Heart by Caryl Churchill (Tobacco Factory Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre).

Tom Morris

Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and Associate Director of the National Theatre since 2004. Tom was the Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre from 1995 to 2004.  Directing credits include: The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic and West End); War Horse (National Theatre, UK & International Tours).

Donnacadh O’Briain

Olivier Award winning director, Donnacadh’s productions have played at the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End, and internationally.  In 2016 he directed Always Orange by Fraser Grace for the RSC, which reopened the famous The Other Place Theatre.

Nik Partridge

Currently Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth, Nik was previously Director in Residence at Tobacco Factory Theatres and a BBC Performing Arts Fellow. Nik has made work for companies including: Royal Court, Traverse, Oran Mor, the egg and Travelling Light.

Ed Viney

Artistic Director of Blue Brook Productions, Ed was previously Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and worked at Chichester Festival Theatre, Almeida Theatre, and Bush Theatre.

Film & Television Specialists

Lorna Laidlaw

Actress and Director, Lorna spent several years with Birmingham Rep and made her television debut in the 1990s. Lorna is known for her roles in BBC shows Doctors, Grandpa in My Pocket and Tikkabilla. Lorna has also directed multiple episodes of Doctors.

Megan Lynas

Hugely experienced Script Supervisor for film and TV. Megan’s recent credits include: Poldark (BBC), Trollied (Sky), Crazyhead (Netflix). Teaches: Script Supervision.

Bashart Malik

For over 15 years Bashart has worked in commercials, music videos and features. Bashart is a Director of Photography and has recently been working on Channel 4 shorts.

Rupert Miles

BAFTA winning director and writer of critically-acclaimed drama and documentary programmes for all the major UK broadcasters and key international broadcasters. Before directing, Rupert worked creatively on iconic feature films and TV series as an editor, supervising sound editor and as an art director. Teaches: Acting to Camera

Tim Newton

An award-winning dramatist turned filmmaker with over twenty years experience writing, producing and directing film, television and theatre. Tim works with artists, performers and commissioning bodies across the UK, producing a wide range of work from documentary and TV commercials to independent art films, comedies and historical drama.

Vince Pellegrino

Trained actor and voice over artist. Vince has extensive stage and screen credits, including credits with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Salisbury Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and in the West End. Screen credits include: Three Girls, Casualty (BBC); Where the Heart Is (ITV), The Fifth Element. Teaches: Acting to Camera

Layla Pope


Jack Price

A film and theatre maker, Jack directed his first short film at 21 starring Idris Elba, five years later he joined Ridley Scott Associates as a director. Jack’s career has seen him win numerous awards and short films screened at major festivals across the world. Teaches: Acting to Camera

Tiggi Trethowan

Tiggi has worked extensively in the TV industry for over 30 years, starting as a Stage Manager then Floor Manager she advanced quickly to Unit Manager/First Assistant Director. Notable credits include Man Vs Wild Bear Grylls taking her across the world. Teaches: First AD

Andrew Yarme

Over 20 year’s professional freelance experience working in Film/Video production as a sound recordist/mixer. Andrew has worked in over 85 countries in remote locations including jungles, deserts, and filming in both the North and South Pole. Teaches: Location Sound

Stuart Napier

Acting to Camera

Martin Sharp

Acting to Camera, Michael Chekhov

Jayne Chard


Ben Morris


Robert Knights


Fiona Francombe

Location Manager

Bruce Abrahams

Production Management

Louie Blystad Collins

Lighting for Film & TV

Radio Specialists

Julie Beckett

Senior Producer for the BBC Radio.

Sunny Ormonde

Hugely experienced radio actress with over 400 radio play credits, and long-time member of The Archers cast. Sunny has appeared in theatres all across the UK and on screen.

James Peries

James is a Director, Producer, Writer & Deviser for Theatre, Radio & TV Drama. Alongside his freelance work since 2013 James has been the Literary Associate at Bristol Old Vic. Previously James has worked for the BBC (Reader, Producer, Development Editor) and as the New Writing Manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Alec Reid

Alec has had an extensive career in Radio working largely for the BBC producing, editing, directing and writing. Alec has also produced hundreds of audiobooks and publications include books, numerous magazine articles and poems.

Janet Whitaker

A prolific, award-winning radio drama director, Janet has brought endless classic novels to a new audience for the BBC.

Peter Leslie Wild

An award-winning director and producer working in Theatre, TV and Audio Drama. Peter has worked around the country and for the BBC as both a radio and television producer. Peter has directed more than 150 BBC radio dramas and is a regular guest director of The Archers.

Sara Davies

BBC Radio Workshops

Roger Stennett


Sue Wilson

Director, Radio Technique

Marilyn Imrie

Radio Techniques


Tom Morris

Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic (pictured left)

Ali Robertson

Artistic Director, Tobacco Factory Theatres

Paul Crewes

Executive Director, Kneehigh

Max Jones

RSC Designer

Sarah Benkinsop

Freelance Designer

Janet Bird

Freelance Designer

Miranda Cromwell

BOV Young Company

David Woodhead

Freelance Designer/ Associate Designer MGC

Jemima Robinson

Freelance Designer

Bunny Christie


Sarah Hauldren

Art Director

Mark Rosenblatt


Lucy Osborne


John McGrath

Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales

Jamie Allen


Students relaxing outside of the School
The School is in a beautiful part of Bristol, overlooking a huge park called the Downs. We sometimes take advantage of our close proximity to the Downs during the summer term, practising fight and dance routines, or voice or singing classes! Dan Hall, BA Professional Acting student