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Musical Theatre Summer School 2023: Tutor Biographies

Liesl Dowsett

Ballet Tutor

Liesl is a graduate of the Royal Ballet School. Whilst training she performed with the Royal Ballet Company in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Don Quixote at the Royal Opera House.

Liesl danced professionally for twenty years appearing in musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, On Your Toes and Finian’s Rainbow performing in the West End and on UK and International tours. Liesl was a featured dancer in the 2004 The Phantom of the Opera Film and also performed in the 25th Anniversary performance of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2015 Liesl graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance with the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma (PDTD). She currently teaches at the Central School of Ballet Junior’s Programme, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Guildford School of Acting, Ballet Boost Associates and the Associate students at the Roshe School.

Liesl has taught for West London School of Dance, English National Ballet School Juniors and has taught on various Summer Schools and Intensive training days for Trinity Laban and Central School of Ballet. Liesl is also a Level 3 certified Progressing Ballet Technique teacher.

Dr. Helen Evans

Acting Tutor

Helen is a Lecturer, Director, Actor/Performer and Practitioner-Researcher. As an educator, Helen’s pedagogy has evolved through over 20 years’ experience in Actor training, theatre making, academic supervision and content development in a combination of Conservatoire and University settings. Now in her tenth academic year at Trinity Laban, Helen is responsible for coordinating, developing and delivering Acting course content for BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Performance. Historically, Helen has lectured and directed across various courses at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Chichester, Fontainebleau School of Acting (France), The MTA, Brunel University and Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds.

Helens’ teaching draws from considerable experience as an Actor in classical (predominantly, Shakespeare), Contemporary (across various styles) and Musical (including Les Misérables, Singin’ in the Rain and the UK premiere of Andrew Lippa’s John and Jen) theatre. Televisually, her experience includes various roles in the BBC’s BAFTA winning Trapped and the BBC-British Museums collaboration Relic: Guardians of the Museum (also BAFTA winning).

Helen’s directing credits include, many industry-showcases (staged in London’s West End Theatres), Musicals, including Company, The Beggars Opera, The Dreaming, The Pirates of Penzance, Anything Goes and Zombie Prom, plays, including Electra, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Epsom Downs and various devised and research-related personal works.

Headshot of Helen Evans

Nick Evans

Acting for Audition Tutor

After graduating from the University of Warwick, and Central School of Speech and Drama, Nick has undertaken a range of roles, including television presenting for the BBC, and work with the Steel Wasp Theatre Company, of which he was a Co-Founder.

As Associate Director of Billy Elliot The Musical in London, he directed no less than 15 Billy Elliots into the show….all of whom taught him a great deal! He also worked for Billy on a range of media projects, including the BBC Celebration of Bruce Forsyth’s 80th Birthday, and the ITV Celebration of 60 years of the BAFTA Awards.

Nick was Associate Director of both Billy Elliot and Rock of Ages in London and, again as Associate, was involved in the creation and staging of the World Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened at the o2 Arena and then toured the UK and Australia. He went on to work as Resident Director for the international tour of Mamma Mia.

He oversaw the UK and international tour of Mary Poppins for Cameron Mackintosh, the largest show to ever tour the UK, as Resident Director. Nick was also the International Associate for Bat Out Of Hell The Musical, playing a key role in the staging and running of the show at the Dominion Theatre in the West End, in Toronto, and in a separate production for Stage Entertainment in Germany.

Headshot of Nick Evans

André Fabien Francis

Dance Tutor

André attended The Ailey School – training ground for the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Summer Intensive in 2013 and graduated with Honours from London Studio Centre in 2014.

In 2020, following an internationally extensive career with performing credits including The Lion King, Wicked, Kiss Me Kate, Hairspray, Saturday Night Fever and A Chorus Line, André was headhunted to join the faculty at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, and in 2022 to join the faculty at Artistry Youth Dance; stepping away from performing and making the exciting move towards continuing with more Lecturing, Theatrical Management and Creative work for organisations including Carrie for Trinity Laban, Mother Goose Pantomime for Hackney Empire and multiple choreographic works for Artistry Youth Dance.

Andre Fabien Francis headshot

Rhona McGregor

Singing For Audition Tutor

After gaining an MA in Music Performance from the University of Southampton, Rhona trained at the Guildford School of Acting, where she received the Professional Development Award.

Theatre Credits include: Tour Guide / Flower Seller and understudy Signora Nacarelli in The Light In The Piazza (Royal Festival Hall, LA Opera, Chicago Lyric); Flower Seller / Dior Assistant and understudy Ada Harris in Flowers For Mrs Harris (Chichester Festival Theatre); Aunt Jane in Moonfleet (Salisbury Playhouse); Tudor Queen and 1st understudy Morticia / Alice Beineke / Grandma Addams in The Addams Family (Original UK Cast); Mrs Sowerberry in Oliver! (The Watermill Theatre); Flo Manero in Saturday Night Fever  (UK Tour and English Theatre, Frankfurt); Miss Lynch in Grease (Ljubljana International Festival, Slovenia); Courtney / Whitney / Mom and 1st understudy Paulette in Legally Blonde the Musical (Original UK Tour); Lesley and 1st understudy Dead Mam in Billy Elliot the Musical (Victoria Palace Theatre); Chess (Oslo Spektrum, Norway); Edith in The Pirates of Penzance (inaugural performance at the Kilworth House Theatre, Leicestershire); Gertie Grub in Jack and the Beanstalk (Liverpool Playhouse); Fairy Fortunate in Beauty and the Beast (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); Lorraine in 42nd Street (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton); Clara in Passion; Eve in The Apple Tree (The Electric Theatre, Guildford); and Sweet Charity (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford).

Other credits include: Tonight at the Palladium (ITV); Harbour Lights(BBC) and the recording of the theme for The Ashes (BBC Radio).

Rhona has also performed extensively as a soprano soloist. Concert experience includes: Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia (Wells Cathedral); Ravel’s Sheherazade (Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton); Haydn’s Nelson Mass; Charpentier’s Te Deum; Vivaldi’s Gloria; Mozart’s Coronation Mass; Handel’s The Messiah, and she has also been a soloist at Westminster Abbey.

Verity Quade

Musical Theatre Integration Tutor

Verity is a seasoned West End performer, having played both lead and ensemble in a variety of musicals. A selection of her credits include: Carousel at the London Coliseum; Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre; Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum; Sunny Afternoon at the Pinter Theatre; Sister Act at the London Palladium; The Sound of Music at The London Palladium and Jerry Springer, the Opera at the Cambridge Theatre. She is in constant demand as a singing teacher and vocal coach at the highest level and works regularly as a musical director and arranger.

Verity is also an experienced session and concert singer and has sung backing vocals for Dionne Warwick and Josh Groban, performed in three Proms and a national tour with the John Wilson Orchestra, and was a featured vocalist in a collaboration with the English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall entitled Strictly Gershwin.

Anthony Whiteman

Musical Theatre Integration Tutor

Anthony is an experienced professional creative practitioner having worked as an artistic director, creative consultant, theatre director, choreographer, musical stager, movement director as well as being a much-sought educator and lecturer.

As a creative practitioner, it is Anthony’s intention to make work which is ‘fit for purpose’. In focusing on the brief, he produces work which is visually captivating, engaging and tailored specifically for each project.

His work is predominantly in the UK and for ‘virtual’ settings, most notably, the European premiere of the UK & Ireland tour of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE,  but he has also been commissioned to create for international stages, and as such was awarded the Jasnet Bosdag award for choreography for his work on DAMDAKI KEMANCI  (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) in Istanbul. Further work including BYE BYE BIRDIE, IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, and LEGALLY BLONDE has met critical acclaim and garnered Off West End award nominations.

He is as invested and interested in a ‘new writing’ as he is on a ‘classic book musical’ or working on location for V.T to camera. Anthony is always professional and works efficiently and effective in fast paced environments.

Anthony works in a holistic way, encompassing the mind as well as the body of the performers he creates with, which fosters safe, respectful creative spaces leading to work which is inventive, dynamic and engaging. 

Anthony entered the creative and educational sphere after a varied and successful career as a Performer, Dance Captain and Resident in commercial musical theatre. Having been a member of iconic productions including CATS, MY FAIR LADY, TOP HAT, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBERS THE WIZARD OF OZ, and BILLY ELLIOT  Anthony has had the experience of working with and performing the creations of leading Directors and Choreographers such as Peter Darling, Arlene Philips, Ellen Kane, Bill Deamer, Trevor Nunn, Morgan Young, Shaun Kerrison, and was assistant to Dame Gillian Lynne, during his time at CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. This work has helped to shape his creative capacity with direct influence from such prolific industry leaders.