ALRA Acting Schools in London & Manchester

ALRA Staff

ALRA has resident and freelance teaching staff and a team of support staff who work tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the school and maintain high standards. Please see individual profiles below.

* Staff based at ALRA North


ALRA South

  • Jimmy Akingbola +

    Jimmy Akingbola is an award winning actor and graduate from ALRA who has worked extensively with numerous credits in TV, film, radio and theatre. Jimmy is an inspiring figure within the British acting scene and a leading networker through the company he co-founded – TriForce Promotions.
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ALRA North

  • Barrie Rutter +

    Barrie Rutter OBE, actor and the founder and Artistic Director of the Northern Broadsides theatre company based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. Barrie was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama and became an ALRA patron in 2010.
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  • Adrian Hall (Principal) +

    Born in Uganda and raised in Liverpool & Staines, Adrian worked as an actor until moving into education. Adrian has worked as a teacher and lecturer at all levels from Primary to HE. Most notably he has held senior lecturer and management positions at other leading actor training conservatories in the UK before joining ALRA in 2011. He is also a trained counsellor and one of ALRA’s safeguarding officers.
  • Sarah Double - Vice Principal (Operations and Student Engagement) +

    Sarah studied Stage Management and Technical Theatre at LAMDA and worked for 10 years in theatres across the UK, the Middle East and Australia. On returning to the UK she was the Senior Events Manager at Kempton Park Racecourse for 2 and a half years. Missing theatre she did her PGC in Arts Management and in 2003 co-founded Youth Music Theatre: UK, where she worked for 5 years. She joined the ALRA team in September 2008.
  • Kieran Sheehan - Vice Principal (Curriculum & Quality Assurance) +

    Kieran has worked as a movement director contributing to productions at Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre (watch this space). He has received funding for individual dance theatre projects from arts council england, touring nationally and regularly mentors emerging movement practitioners. He has previously worked as an associate artist at ice and fire and dance digital as well as developing productions within circus and film. He has developed innovative participatory projects for companies including Opera North, Access All Areas and the Butterfly Foundation. Kieran is a trustee of Westminster Arts, Shadow Governor of York Creative Arts Academy, Quality
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  • Chris Hill (Course Leader) +

    Chris trained on the MFA in Theatre directing at Birkbeck and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

    He has worked as a director and assistant director with companies including The National Theatre, Opera North, Theatre Royal Bath, Headlong Theatre Company, Bolton Octagon, Birmingham REP, and West Yorkshire Playhouse, where he spent a year as resident assistant director.

    He regularly acts as a mentor for emerging theatre makers, from supervising young companies on behalf of the National Theatre as part of the Connections project, to advising the creators of a large-scale intergenerational dance theatre piece in Kani City, Japan.

  • Aly Spiro (Course Leader) +

    Aly Spiro has been working as an actress for many years. She has worked extensively in Theatre, TV, Film and Radio and is probably best known for playing Sarah Sugden in Emmerdale. Aly has been working at drama schools for over ten years at ALRA, LAMDA, Central, Mountview and Urdang both directing and teaching. She is very happy to now be settled at ALRA as Head of Acting.

  • Ria Tubman (Head of Stage Management and Technical Theatre - on Maternity Leave) +

    Ria trained in Technical Theatre at Middlesex University and has been working as a Stage and Production Manager since 2000. Since starting her career as DSM at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Ria has gone on to work at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Buxton Opera House, Hackney Empire, as well as working extensively in the West End and on many touring productions, Ria has also worked at many music events and festivals such as Glastonbury.

  • Jayne Courtney* (Head of Foundation) +

    Jayne has been teaching and directing for many years across a range of Theatre courses up to HE level and is an experienced examiner and adjudicator. She has been leading the Foundation courses (Full and Part Time) at ALRA North for a number of years. Jayne is one of ALRA’s safeguarding officers, she teachers on the BA course and oversees Learning Support for ALRA North.

  • Stephen Barr* (Head of Recorded Media) +

    Stephen has worked extensively within television and film in post-production and production management roles which has taken him across the globe - working in USA, Germany, Spain, Norway and France – as well as Weatherfield, editing Coronation Street. For 10 years Stephen was co-director of award-winning production company First Take, where he produced and directed the feature documentary, Pink: Past & Present in 2010. Stephen is fluent in all aspects of the film production process – specialising in editing and post-production.

  • Gary Horner* (Lead Skills Tutor) +

    Gary trained at Guildford School of Acting and then went on to The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) and gained an MA in Voice studies. Gary also became a Designated Linklater voice teacher in 2015. Gary has taught at RCSSD, Mountview, Arts Ed, Italia Conti, East 15 and The Brit School and is responsible for coaching on theatre productions including the award winning, all female Titus Andronicus from Smooth Faced Gentleman. For more information -

  • Andy Blake* (Lead Acting Tutor) +

    Andy trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He is also a qualified acting teacher working with various institutions across the North West. Theatre credits include: Road, Romeo & Juliet', An Inspector Calls, Casting the Oracle, Death on the Wards. TV credits include: The Innocence Project, Shameless, Boy A and Poppy Shakespeare. He has recorded a couple of projects for BBC Radio Drama. He has experience of both Corporate and Role-play work and has advanced qualifications in Stage Combat.

  • Jane Jeffery (Lead Acting Tutor) +

    Jane trained at ALRA after previously working as a lawyer. She has worked extensively in TV appearing in EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Coalition, River, Top Boy, The Gates, The Bill and Law and Order UK. She has also appeared in the West End and other London theatres and has worked for many years as a guest director and tutor at London drama schools, directing internal projects and final shows for Third Year and Post Graduate students. Jane is the co-Artistic Director of new writing theatre company, First Sight Theatre.

  • John Wild (Lead Voice Tutor and Student Wellbeing Practitioner) +

    John has worked extensively as an actor, director and voice coach within theatre, TV, film and radio, both in the UK and abroad. John trained in voice at The Central School of Speech and Drama in 1994/5 and then became a Roy Hart voice teacher in 2007 and a designated Kristen Linklater teacher in 2011. John has had unique experience with the voice and continues to have a passion for awakening an individual's potential, by freeing their voice.

  • Jane Vicary* (Lead Voice Tutor) +

    Jane trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her research into voice and gender was published in the VASTA Journal of 2007 and she continued her practice research and training with Nadine George and Margaret Pikes (Roy Hart Theatre) and Kristin Linklater. Working extensively in education, at the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University, she has been Producer and Musical Director for Demi-Paradise, directed at Cumbria Institute of the Arts and was Senior Voice Tutor at the Arden School of Theatre before moving to ALRA.

  • Gareth Taylor (Lead Movement Tutor) +

    After graduating from GSA, Gareth trained at the Jacques Lecoq school in Paris. Since returning he’s worked with some of the fastest growing theatre companies in the UK, including Punchdrunk, Slung Low, Rough Fiction and the award winning curious directive, of which he’s a Creative Associate. As a performance capture artist he has worked on over 30 video games as well as multiple feature films. He is Movement Associate of The Mocap Vaults who teach performance capture techniques to the new generation of actors, animators and directors, preparing them for a life in lycra.

  • Michael White* (Lead Movement Tutor) +

    Michael trained at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris after completing a BA in Performance Theatre at York University. He is Artistic Director of Square Peg Theatre who focus on combining new writing with physical theatre to create bold, cinematic and highly choreographed stories for the stage. More info via

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  • Billy Geraghty (Camera Acting Tutor) +

    Billy has worked as an actor for 25 years. On stage, in Regional theatres as well as the West End and internationally, his credits include leading roles in the musicals Buddy and Great Balls of Fire. For TV: regular characters in The Last Detective, London Bridge, Holly Oaks, East Enders and appearances in other high profile series such as Poldark, Poirot and Whitechapel. Film credits: No Child of Mine, Slapper and Me, and Franklyn amongst others. He has written and directed touring productions for UK and international venues.

  • Diane Alison-Mitchell (Part-time Foundation Coordinator) +

  • David Ford* (Theatre & Production Technician) +

  • Lucy Myers (SMTT Tutor) +

  • Samantha Ackerley (Design Tutor) * +

    Sam completed her BA (Hons) degree in Design for Performance at Edge Hill University in 2013. Whilst studying there she was awarded an On-Course Excellence Scholarship in Creative Arts. Sam has designed for shows including ‘A Dybbuk’, ‘Peter Pan: The British Musical’, ‘Les Miserables: School Edition’ & ‘Grease’. Sam has also worked as Assistant Curator for exhibitions including ‘Exclaim!’ at The Lowry and ‘Critical Costume’ Symposium at Edge Hill University.

    Sam is a creative individual with experience in set design, model making, technical drawing, costume design & construction, script & character analysis and budget management.

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Support Sfaff:

  • Aaron Lowman (Head of Quality and Academic Standards) +

    Aaron is a graduate of Brunel University London where he completed a Masters In Sport, Health and Exercise Science, specialising in Respiratory Physiology. He has been involved in the Higher Education sector ever since, working on projects linked to Quality and Enhancement before Joining in ALRA in 2017.

  • Jonathan Maydew (Registrar) +

    Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Winchester, where he studied Dance & Sport. He has worked extensively in the Arts & Education sectors in Administrative, Senior Management and Creative Roles. Jonathan retains his passion for movement and continues to work within the Arts as a Qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner.

  • Marina Geraghty (Finance Officer) +

    Marina is the Finance Officer and joined ALRA in February 2013.

  • Lynn Howes (Marketing & Development Manager) +

    Lynn joined ALRA in March 2015 with over 20 years of professional experience, having taken a Theatre Studies degree at Brunel University and a Post-Grad Diploma in Acting at LAMDA. Lynn works in education and Applied Arts and is currently taking an MA in Applied & Participatory Theatre at Royal Holloway University. She is also a published playwright, school governor and a trustee for Giants Theatre.

  • April Sibal (Secretary to the Senior Management Team) +

    Secretary to Senior Management April joined ALRA back in 2012 where she took on the role of the Secretary to the SMT. April has been supporting both the staff and the students where her organisational skills have been a great asset, ensuring that everyone gets where there need to be by booking all travel and accommodations for shows and events.

  • Dylan Stafford (Student Advisor) +

    North East born and bred and now living in London, Dylan is well placed to advise on how best to navigate the issues faced by students at both ALRA campuses. As a recent graduate from the ALRA Postgraduate Acting course, Dylan is in prime position to lend a hand on all matters accommodation, funding and pastoral. Alongside working at ALRA, he has extensive, first-hand knowledge of acting agencies including the workings of co-operatives. And as a jobbing actor he is fully aware of the demands of the industry.

  • Sue Watson (Administrative & Programme Assistant) +

    Sue has worked at ALRA for 12 years and is usually the first point of contact for students and visitors in the front office.

  • Lorraine Balderson* (Assistant to the FInance Officer and Registrar) +

  • Sarah Brandon* (Marketing Assistant & Secretary to the Trustees) +

  • Lydia Sibly (AV Technician) +

  • Greg Pearson* (Facilities Manager) +

  • Darren Penton (Facilities Manager) +

  • Lorraine Penman* (Cafe Manager) +

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  • Harry Cowd - Chair (Retired Headteacher) +

    Harry became Chair of the Board at ALRA in 2010. He serves in the public, charity and voluntary sectors and was a primary Head Teacher before retirement. Harry chairs Merton Vision; The Battersea Power Station Community Forum and is a Churchwarden. He has experience of working with minority communities and is also past chair of POLKA Theatre and a Local and Health Authority
  • Luke Adamson (Actor & ALRA Graduate 2010) +

    I am a young actor, director, writer and producer from Selby in Yorkshire. I made my professional stage debut aged only nine and my professional TV debut aged sixteen. I completed a BA(Hons) in acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded arts between 2008-2011. In 2010 I founded Black Coffee Theatre with two friends, I am also Creative Associate for touring Shakespeare company Permanently Bard and the Audience Development, Outreach & Fundraising Officer for The Hope Theatre in Islington. I am working hard to create theatre for new as well as existing audiences and move away from the elitism
  • Tony Bradshaw (Retired Headteacher) +

    Tony Bradshaw is a former Wigan secondary head teacher. He is currently vice chair of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, a trustee of the Young Persons Centre in Wigan and treasurer of his local church. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and past president of Wigan Rotary Club. He became a trustee of ALRA in 2011.
  • Carolyn Lloyd-Davies (Actor & Business Consultant) +

    Carolyn is the founder of Living the Drama Ltd, a social enterprise company dedicated to producing new plays which challenge society's prejudices. She graduated from ALRA in 2005 and set up a corporate theatre company, Acting for Change. AfC is now a sister company to Living the Drama. Originally trained as a teacher, she also has over 20 years' experience as a management consultant.
  • Clive Lynch (Financial Advisor) +

    Clive has worked in the financial services sector since 1978, including his own private practice since 2005. This, together with the experience of a son who has graduated from the ALRA Foundation and 3 Year Acting courses, provides a different perspective for the Board of Trustees.
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  • Graham Pearson (Facilities Manager) * +

  • Darren Penton (Facilities Manager) +

  • David Ford (Production/Theatre Technician) * +

  • Lydia Sibly (AV Technician) +

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Visiting Faculty


  • Kate Coogan

  • David Crowley

  • Andrew Dennis

  • Gordon House

  • Katie Lewis

  • Simon Mattacks

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Actor Voice

  • Holly Aisbitt

  • Sally Bishop

  • Tim Bond (Choral & Musicianship) *

  • Mary Cunningham *

  • Joanna Clark *

  • Natalie Grady *

  • Helen Parry *

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Actor Movement

  • Ruth Cooper-Brown (Combat)

  • Kate Engineer

  • Lucia Tong

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Film Directors

  • Neil Alderton

  • Chris Cronin

  • Samuel Dore

  • Lynne Harwood

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Foundation Course

  • Tim Bond (Choral & Musicianship) *

  • Hannah Quigley

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Directors on Public Productions:

  • Elisa Amesbury

  • Gerard Bell

  • Helena Bell

  • Lucy Bradley

  • Joyce Branagh

  • Ben Caplan

  • Neil Caple

  • James Cartwright

  • Susie Catliff

  • Darren Cheek

  • Phil Clark

  • Kate Coogan

  • Jenny Eastop

  • Dee Evans

  • Emma Gersch

  • Martin Gibbons

  • Teresa Grimsditch

  • Andrew Hall

  • Judy Holt

  • Sarah Hughes

  • Rosamunde Hutt

  • Louise Jameson

  • Martin Jameson

  • Des Kennedy

  • Titania Krimpas

  • Katie Lewis

  • Kwong Loke

  • Ewan Marshall

  • Ken McClymont

  • Laurence Mitchell

  • Chris Monks

  • Jonathan Moore

  • Kate Morton

  • Gareth Nicholls

  • Kenn Oldfield

  • Madeleine O’Reilly

  • Liz Postlethwaite

  • Paul Robinson

  • Kevin Shaw

  • Pip Short

  • Ruta Staseviciute

  • Guy Slater

  • Roman Stefanski

  • Alyx Tole

  • Sean Turner

  • George Turvey

  • Dickon Tyrrell

  • Max Webster

  • Holly Wilson

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Set & Costume Designers on Public Productions

  • Lauren Cameron

  • Nik Corall

  • Richard Foxton

  • Madeline Herbert

  • Rhyannon Richardson

  • Anna Toumanova

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Lighting Designers on Public Productions 

  • Mark Dymock

  • Douglas Kuhrt

  • Aideen Malone

  • Prema Mehta

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Stage Managers

  • Emma Hansford

  • Neil Webb

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  • Xye Appleton

  • Natasha Brain

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Stage Craft

  • David Evans

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ALRA's Notable Alumni
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Reasons to study at ALRA
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    ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA’s acting training includes includes specialist instruction in stage, film, TV, audio, comedy, voice and movement and is supported with contextual studies to prepare for work.
  • ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA has built strong relationships within the industry and our showcases and productions are directed and attended by agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers and our own inspiring Alumni.
  • ALRA’s resident teams are dedicated, talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a passion for teaching. Our students are supported in all aspects of their studies.
  • ALRA’s reputation of securing opportunities for students grows each year and our Alumni are working in the West End, Regional and Touring Theatre Productions, as well as in Film, TV and Comedy both in the UK and beyond.
  • ALRA recruits a comparatively small number of students each year so that everybody has our full attention and feels part of the school from the moment they arrive.
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