Throughout our full-time courses, students have the opportunity to meet agents, casting directors, theatre/tv/film directors, producers, actors and alumni for seminars, Q&As, mock auditions and general talks.
From 2021 the following professionals spoke to our graduating year groups.
Jimmy Akingbola & Crystal Yu
Jimmy and Crystal spoke to graduating actors about their careers to date and the struggles that they have faced.
Jimmy is an actor who has starred in shows such as Bel-Air, Freegard, Most Dangerous Game for Quibi, Ted Lasso and Kate and Koji. Jimmy set up Triforce Creative Network to help provide opportunities to discover diverse talent.
Crystal is a TV actress best known for her roles in Casualty, as Dr Lily Chao, Doctor Who and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby.
Torben is a highly respected writer whose plays have been produced across the UK and internationally. His most celebrated works include Invincible, Muswell Hill and Unconquered which won ‘Best New Play’ at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland in 2007.
Graduating actors had the opportunity to rehearse scenes from Torben’s plays and discuss elements such as the pace, rhythm and characterisation with him.
Bob has worked as a film director on feature films including Vampire’s Kiss (1988) Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1997) and The Moonstone (1997).
Bob shared some of his scenes with graduating actors and discussed them in an Industry Talk.
Phillip studied Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University and trained at Clwyd Theatr Cymru under Terry Hands. He is an associate at The Royal Shakespeare Company and has directed over 50 professional productions across the UK. The first of these was Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Six productions followed at the Citizens theatre including True West by Sam Shepard.
In this Industry Talk, Phillip discussed his production of True West with graduating actors.
Matt offered invaluable and reassuring advice to the actors who are preparing for their final term at DSL. Matt has been a talent agent for over 20 years. In 2020 he began his own talent agency, Innovate Talent Management.
Niamh conducted a Shakespeare workshop for our graduating students.
Niamh is an actor known for her roles in RSC Romeo and Juliet (1986), Heartbeat (2010), Hereafter (2010) and Testament of Youth (2014). Recently she has had roles in Returning (2020). Father Brown (2020) and Macbeth (RSC 2018). Her next film, The Little People will be released in 2021. She has worked in theatre throughout her career, performing at the RSC and the National Theatre. Highlights include My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre 2019-20), As You Like it (RSC 1996) and Macbeth (RSC 2018).
Charles has starred in numerous TV, film and stage productions. His most recent roles include Tywin in Game of Thrones, William Randolph Hearst in Mank, Lord Mountbatten in The Crown. Some of his earlier credits include The Jewel in the Crown (1984) and For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Charles discussed his early days in the acting industry, his time as a company member of the RSC and shared anecdotes of some of the productions he has been a part of.
Sue is notable for directing EastEnders (1991-2005), Coronation Street (1997), The Bill (1993-1994) and Casualty (1994-2001), among many other TV dramas and films. She has had a prolific career in theatre and founded the Pentabus Theatre Company in 1974. She now works as a freelance director and writer.
Markus studied at The Neighbourhood Playhouse in one of the last graduating classes taught by Sanford Meisner. He has worked extensively in television and film, appearing in The Morning Show, Friends, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, Will and Grace, The Kingdom, Biloxi Blues, Life As We Know It and Seven Pounds. On stage he has appeared in Bus Stop with Jerry Hall, Lee Blessing’s Down The Road, and That May Well Be True. Markus teaches the Meisner technique across the world.
Markus spoke to graduating students about the Meisner technique and its application in performance and gave a masterclass using exercises.
Writer and Director
Lisa is an expert in new writing, was a former Artistic Director of the Soho Theatre and set up her own theatre and production company, The Red Room.
Graduating actors read drafts of Baghdad Wedding by Hassan Abdulrazzak which Lisa directed at the Soho Theatre and an unseen play written by Lisa. They were able to discuss the scenes with Lisa, commenting on the relationship between characters, the pace and tone.
Laura has enjoyed an extensive acting career across theatre, film and television. In 2016 she founded The Dot Collective, a charity who provide innovative theatre of a high, professional standard that’s accessible and cognitively stimulating for those living in care, particularly with dementia.
Laura discussed the pleasures and complexities of working in the specialised field of Theatre in the Community
Dame Pippa Harris
Pippa co-founded Neal Street Productions in 2003 with Sam Mendes and has Produced and Executive Produced an extensive repertoire of Films and TV shows. She is known for Call the Midwife (2012-2021) Revolutionary Road (2008) and Starter for 10 (2006). She was nominated for and won multiple awards for 1917 (2019), including an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination, a BAFTA Award for Best Film and Outstanding British Film and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture.
Pippa spoke to graduating actors about her impressive career and the TV industry.
Alumni - Actress
Shobu is widely known for her role as Gita Kapoor in East Enders, one of her first professional credits. She went on to star in Citizen Khan, as Mrs Khan, Bend it like Beckham, Casualty and Bridgerton. Recently she has starred as Seema in Channel 4’s We are Lady Parts.
Shobu gave an entertaining overview of her impressive career, especially touching on her experience as a young girl from India adjusting to a new culture.
Sylvestra La Trouzel & Owen Teale
Sylvestra played Fanny Price in Mansfield Park for the BBC. She has since starred in shows such as in Paradise, Father Brown, Endeavour, Silent Witness, and Northanger Abbey. She starred in the classic Heineken advert ‘The Water in Majorca’ which has been praised as one of the best ads of all time.
Owen is known for roles such as Ser Alliser Thrones in Game of Thrones, Dai in Stella and Chief Constable Osborne in Line of Duty. He made his TV debut in Mimosa Boys (1984) and has starred in Great Expectations, Knights of God and Boon amongst others. On stage he has starred in plays such as Ivanov at the National Theatre, Dance a Death at The Lyric Theatre and Creditors at The Donmar Warehouse in addition to productions at The Royal Shakespeare Company. He was nominated for a Laurence Oliver Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and won a Tony Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Doll’s House.
Sylvestra and Owen discussed their careers with graduating actors, sharing the lessons that they have learned.
Chris began his career in theatre as an actor, spending seven years with the RSC. He has since gone on to direct plays and opera nationally and internationally. With expertise in Shakespeare, Chris has directed many plays in Stratford including Twelfth Night and The Shakespeare Revue.
Chris discussed his productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing.
Alumni - Director
Blanche is a director for Theatre, Film and Opera. She graduated from Drama Studio London in 2005 and has directed in theatres across the UK, notably, the RSC (2017), the Globe (2019) and the National Theatre (2019). Her most recent work was Botticelli In The Fire at Hampstead theatre. She has also written plays such as Lost Hearts and The Master and Margarita (adaptation) which have been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and London Theatres.
Amy is a playwright notable for Under the Umbrella (Belgrade Theatre Coventry, UK tour), Acceptance (Hamstead Theatre), Shangri-la (Finborough Theatre) and Tiger Girls (BBC Radio 4).
Amy discussed her new adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie set in Hong Kong.
Maggie was invited to talk to our final year students about how to survive the industry.
Maggie Ollerenshaw is an actress who made her TV debut in 1974. She is most famous for her role in Open All Hours (1982). Recently she has appeared in Scarborough (2019), Doctors (2019), Thomas and Friends (2020) and Little Princess (2020). She also works in film, her most recent is War Horse (2011). She has been in Theatre productions such as 4000 Days at the Park Theatre (2016)
Richard has been Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre since 2016. Prior to that he was Associate Director (International) at the Royal Court Theatre, and before that spent five years at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Richard gave an overview of touring theatre, outlining the actors’ experience of the process.