All of our department leaders, tutors and practitioners, are highly experienced industry members who are working as actors, directors or producers. This means that our training is always relevant and taught for the profession by the profession.

Emma is a Theatre Director and Producer who predominantly worked for Clwyd Theatr Cymru directing productions such as The Herbal Bed (Peter Whelan), Ghosts and A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen), Arms and the Man (George Bernard Shaw), Copenhagen (Michael Frayn), Educating Rita (Willy Russell), God of Carnage (Yasmina Reza), Shakespeare’s Will (Vern Thiessen) and Oleanna (David Mamet). Her producing credits for the company included new writing to London and New York – Memory (Jonathan Lichtenstein), and Pieces (Hywel John). As a freelancer she most recently directed Closer (Patrick Marber) for The Vienna English Theatre and A History of Falling Things (James Graham) at the New Vic Theatre. Emma has produced a number of Lifetime Achievement Award ceremonies for the film, television and theatre industries on behalf of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. She has a BA (hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MA in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University and GITIS (The Russian Institute of Theatre Arts), Moscow.

Emma Lucia Hands

Director of DSL

After training at Mountview, Victoria has worked as an actress on stage and screen for over twenty years in various projects, from award-winning TV dramas to UK tours.

Victoria also wrote and performed in a stand-up comedy duo for several years, producing sell-out shows in venues, including London’s West End, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and The Latitude Festival, to name a few.

She was previously Senior Acting and Screen Acting Tutor at The Urdang Academy for six years and is incredibly passionate about inspiring and guiding future performers.

Victoria Bush

Subject Leader in Acting, BA

Sue Dunderdale is a director who has worked with Sean Bean (“Killing the Cat”-Royal Court Theatre) and Helena Bonham-Carter (“Woman In White”-Greenwich Theatre) among others.

Sue founded PENTABUS Theatre Company and has directed at the RSC, the Cambridge Theatre Company, the Bush Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. She was Artistic Director of the Soho Theatre Company from 1984-1988 and Greenwich Theatre from 1988-1989.

Sue has also directed episodes of Eastenders, Coronation Street, Casualty, Holby, Peak Practice and London Bridge.

Sue was previously Head of MAs and Leader of the MA in Directing at RADA.

Sue Dunderdale

Subject Leader in Acting, MA

Michael has worked as director and writer across theatres in England and America and was Arts Council associate director at Chester Gateway, Liverpool Everyman and Nuffield, Southampton. Work in London includes Shakespeare’s Globe, the Young Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Gate, Soho Theatre, the King’s Head, the Royal Court and the National Theatre. Work abroad includes Ireland, Italy, France, Romania, Estonia, South Africa, China and Thailand. He has been artistic director of Not the National Theatre and Great Eastern Stage, senior lecturer at Coventry, Middlesex and London Universities, deputy director of East 15 Acting School and visiting professor of theatre at Washington and Webster Universities. Recent and future productions include Three Sisters in Tennessee and The Last Horseman (a new musical) in Cairo and Lebanon.

Michael Fry

Interim Course Leader, MFA

Michael trained at LAMDA and has been an actor and voice over artist working in theatre, film, television, animation and games for 30 years.

Among others he has worked with Theatre Clwyd, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Menier Chocolate Factory, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, BBC, Starz, Sony, The Cartoon Saloon, Creative Assembly, SEGA, Games Workshop, Fatshark Games, Square Enix, Molinare, Side Global and Pitstop Productions.

He has voiced numerous characters for commercials, animation and AAA games.

He has also worked as a Venue Director and Workshop Facilitator for the Shakespeare Schools Festival, as an Assistant Director for the National Youth Theatre of Wales, visiting freelance Workshop Leader for Drama Studio London and as a Personal Tutor also for DSL.

Michael Geary

Subject Lead for Audio

Henry trained at Drama Studio London and has had an extensive career in Television and Film and Voice Over.

Most recently Henry was cast in Luther (Netflix) and he co-produced To Leslie staring Andrea Riseborough and Alison Janney. Career highlights include Crossbones (NBC) alongside John Malkovich, Claire Foy and Richard Coyle, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo directed by David Fincher, True Blood (HBO) and TV Sketch comedy Wham Bam Thank you Ma’am (ABC). As a voice artist he stared in Elder Scroll for 4 seasons, X Men First Class and The Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)

Henry Hereford

MFA 1

Dewi has worked as Voice Coach and Accent Coach on a number of theatre productions, including international tours and shows on London’s West End. Prior to his work with the Studio he has taught at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Drama Centre, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and Arts Educational Schools London. He has also been interviewed by the BBC and Time Magazine about his work with clients from the corporate field.

Dewi Hughes

Subject Leader, Voice

Jonny has spent many years directing shows for companies touring in the UK and across Europe, including Chekhov’s Shorts, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Animal Farm, Lady Windermere’s Fan and The 39 Steps as well as numerous Dickens adaptations of his own – The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, etc. As an actor he has performed all over the world from 42nd St, NYC to Kyoto and Osaka via Rome, Athens, Berlin and Abu Dhabi as well as the National Theatre, the West End and major TV series in the UK and US.

Jonathan Kemp

Course Leader, PG Dip/MA

Keith’s performance career has ranged from cabaret, film work and theatre work (including West End). Keith has worked in a variety of movement and dance styles and genres. He has worked as movement director/choreographer, both professionally and within colleges, including The Laban Centre, East 15 and ArtsEd, on numerous productions. Keith has been involved in training actors and dancers for the past 40 years.

Keith O’Brien

Subject Leader, Movement

Gary has worked extensively in film, television, theatre, and radio playing lead roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Royal Exchange Manchester and Sadler’s Wells. He has also worked with ground-breaking companies such as Shared Experience, Complicite, Tara Arts, Tamasha and Kali Theatre. His numerous television credits include; Mammals, The Canterville Ghost, Breeders, Bodyguard, Game of Thrones, Citizen Khan, Black Earth Rising, Hard Sun, Silent Witness and Torchwood. He played, opposite Michelle Yeoh, in the critically acclaimed film ‘Far North’ directed by Oscar and Bafta winning directed Asif Kapadia. He was Vikram in ‘The Arches’ and has read ‘Book at Bedtime’ for BBC radio.

He was previously Head of Outreach for Oxford School of Drama, Head of Education for Triforce Creative Network. Gary is an associate lecturer at University for the Creative Arts (UCA), visiting director at Rose Bruford, Manchester School of Theatre, Actors Studio and a guest lecturer at the Royal College of Art

Gary Pillai

Course Leader, BA

Max trained as an actor at the Italia Conti Acting Academy, and went on to gain an MA in Dramatic Writing at Central Saint Martins.

As an actor, writer and director Max has worked across theatre and film, creating original/award winning drama, and has built a wide network of industry collaborators.

He is immensely passionate about training actors for work on screen, and has been teaching, directing and developing recorded media courses for over eight years in leading film and drama schools in the U.K and U.S.

Max Saunders-Singer

Subject Leader, Media

Tutors

Waj is an Actor and has worked extensively across Film, TV, and Theatre for the last 10 Years. Some of his most notable credits include Carnival Row, Honour, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Silent Witness to name a few. His work in theatre has seen him at the National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Hampstead and the Pleasance.

Waj Ali

Personal Tutor

Details coming soon.

Raniah Al-Sayed

Intimacy Consultant

Charlie was an actor for over 25 years before turning her hand to teaching and directing in vocational drama schools, including being head of acting at ArtsEd and head of course at PPA. As an actor she worked in repertory theatres in Clywd, Derby, Salisbury, Chester, Exeter, Manchester and Greenwich, and started her career in the West End in the original production of Stepping Out. More recently she started her own theatre company, Persever Productions, directing the London Premiere of Tokens of Affection at Waterloo East. This summer Charlie staged a joint production with DSL of a 60 minute version of The Comedy of Errors in Walpole Park, with DSL graduates alongside professional actors. Charlie has a BA in Performance studies, a PGC in Shakespeare and Text, and a master’s degree in text and performance.

Charlie Barker

BA Level 5

Melanie is an actress who trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has worked extensively in the UK, Ireland and in Europe with companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Crucible Sheffield, the Abbey Theatre Dublin, Northern Stage, the New Vic, the Arcola and Pentabus. She was a regular character in the award-winning Irish TV series RED ROCK.

As a voiceover artist she records audiobooks for Audible and RNIB. Melanie also writes and several of her plays have been made into short films.

She has many years’ experience of teaching and directing students, most recently at The Urdang Academy and Mountview.

Melanie MacHugh

Personal Tutor

Ishwar Maharaj is a writer and director with over 26 years experience in the industry and is the founder of Company O Theatre, which specialises in new writing, adaptions and installations.

He also works internationally and is co-artistic director of Teatteri Vertigo in Finland, which produces large scale immersive, promenade and site-specific productions.

Ishwar Maharaj

BA Level 5

Faye specialises in teaching dance and movement, including musical theatre and period dance.

She trained at London Studio Centre, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Theatre Dance and later trained at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, receiving an MA in Acting. She has performance experience in theatre, television and film.

Working as both a dancer and actor has given Faye a greater understanding of what actors need to enable them to enhance and develop their skills in dance and movement. She is experienced in teaching a broad range of levels, from people with little or no performing experience to those who are experienced performers.

Faye Maughan

BA Level 4

Alex is a Set and Costume designer who has designed over 150 productions for a wide variety of venues and companies, including: The West End, fringe, regional, touring and site specific. He has also taught drama and various backstage crafts for 25 years. He is resident designer at The Finborough Theatre.

Alex Marker

BA Level 4

Liz is a freelance actor, theatre director and choreographer, working in a wide variety of genres. She has worked at the National Theatre, in the West End, on large-scale commercial tours, for repertory theatres and companies large and small all around the country, and in TV and film. She trained at GSA and is also a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music. She teaches movement for actors and is especially interested in the use of the body as the actor’s instrument.

Liz Marsh

BA Level 5

Clare Stearns has an MA in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University and has worked extensively in education as well as in the creative arts. She was the Head of Theatre for the Chinese International School in Hong Kong and has been the Artistic Director of two theatre companies – Breakaleg which performed regularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Perilous Mouths Entertainment Ltd. which develops modern musicals as well as writing and adapting works which focus on lesser known women from history including: Mrs. Sheridan, Constance – Mrs. Wilde, Letters to the Beloved Mrs. Dickens, Piano Moments with Mrs. Darwin, George Eliot’s Leap of Love and Mussolini’s Mistresses. 

Clare Stearns

Personal Tutor

An actor for over 30 years, Giles has worked at the National Theatre (This House, After The Dance), the Royal Shakespeare Company (most recently Christmas Carol and Twelfth Night), in the West End (most recently the Hilary Mantel trilogy, and Witness for the Prosecution), on Broadway (Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies), and regional theatres, including Chichester Festival Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and Nottingham Playhouse.

Also a Shakespeare Consultant, he has worked on the language and verse speaking of productions at the RSC (Dido: Queen of Carthage), the Globe (Romeo and Juliet), Leeds Playhouse (As You Like It), Manchester Royal Exchange (The Comedy of Errors), and multiple productions at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park.

He teaches and directs at various drama schools as well as working with emerging directors on the Genesis Programme (now the Directors’ Program) at the Young Vic. His first book – Dramatic Adventures in Rhetoric – co-authored with director Philip Wilson, was published in 2015 by Oberon Books.

Giles Taylor

Personal Tutor

Kevin is the artistic director of KEPOW Theatre Company and a past winner of the Rose Bruford Trust Directors Award. He is a writer and director with credits including: the British Council in Singapore, productions in Hong Kong and Dubai and the world premiere of Monster at London’s Park Theatre (nominated for three Off-West-End Awards) and Spiral at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s West End (also nominated for an Off-West-End Award).

Kevin was the writer-in-residence at the Royal Theatre in Northampton for 2 years, where several of his plays received world premieres. His play Who? won the Sunday Times Playwright Award and performed upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre. He has also been a regular contributor to the work of the National Theatre; working as the comedy consultant for the Education Department and teaching numerous workshops in the NT Studio.

Kevin has worked internationally including in: New Zealand, America, South Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Germany, Holland, France, UAE, and Bali and with Keith Johnstone in Canada – most notably on Open Season at the Garrick Theatre, Calgary.

As an actor, Kevin has performed with Trestle, Told by an Idiot and performed at various repertory theatres across the UK including the Theatre Royal York and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and international venues.

Kevin Tomlinson

Personal Tutor

Details coming soon.

Tiz Wallman-Raj

Personal Tutor

Admin & Support Staff

​Chloe worked for several years as an actor before completing her BA in Screen Acting at Met Film School London. She joined Drama Studio London as a Stage Manager for the 2023 graduation season and now works as Programme Coordinator as well as providing administrative support to staff and students. 

Chloe Zurynski

Programme Coordinator (Interim)

Lynn heads up DSL outreach activity for education, arts and community organisations. She has delivered Contextual Studies and Outreach activity for UK drama conservatoires including Mountview, ALRA and LAMDA, following several years with Stagecoach Theatre Arts as Education Associate and Education and Training Manager. She trained as an actor at LAMDA, has an MA in applied and Participatory Theatre and is a published playwright.

Lynn Howes

Outreach and Widening Participation

Carolyn Hartvigsen is an American actress, writer and producer based in west London. She is a co-creator and voice actress with award nominated Other Mysteries Theatre Company – creating comedic murder mystery radio plays, then adapting them for stage. She is also the founder of Hart Productions – producing small scale theatre performances around the world. Before moving to London, she split her time performing between Utah and NYC. Carolyn is a LAMDA alum.

Carolyn Hartvigsen

Marketing and Communications Manager

After graduating from Surrey Institute of Art and Design Sarah worked in buying for a number of large retailers before moving to the charity sector where she worked in the communications department. Here she gained varied experience including administrative and finance duties. Sarah works alongside UWL Finance team and is responsible for all finance administration at DSL.

Sarah Kay

Finance Administrator

Max is not only a staff member but also an alumni of Drama Studio London. Whilst studying here he received a Commendation for his work in the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award, which lead to work at the BBC. Since graduating from DSL in 2018 Max has gone on to record voice media for not only film but also large corporate clients like Mercedes-Benzes and Univar Solutions. Max provides technical support for all the recorded media at DSL.

Max Jukes

Recorded Media Manager

Alison spent 15 years working in risk management before taking a career break and retraining in costume making at Kensington and Chelsea College. Outside of DSL she does freelance costume work and is an enthusiastic member of her local drama society. She has a passion for and extensive knowledge of period costume, which she happily shares with our actors.

Alison Simmons

Head of Costume

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