Helen has been responsible for coordinating and developing actor-training for the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Performance course here at Trinity Laban now for nine academic years. Her pedagogy has evolved through a combination of University and Conservatoire teaching and directing including at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Chichester, Fontainebleau School of Acting, The MTA, Brunel University and Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds.
Educationally, Helen holds a PhD in Surveillance Performativity in Immersive Space from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she was a recipient of a Royal Central School Research Bursary. She also holds an MA (with distinction) in Performance Practices and Research (also from RCSSD) and a first class BA (Hons) Acting from Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds.
Helen inter-pollinates the different aspects of her career as an Actor, Singer, Lecturer, Director, and Academic. Her directing credits include many industry showcases (staged in various West End Theatres), Musicals including Company, The Beggars Opera, The Dreaming (Goodall and Harts adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Anything Goes, Zombie Prom and The Pirates of Penzance, and plays including Electra, Epsom Downs and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Helen’s performance credits include, Miss Dinsmore in Singin’ in the Rain (National Tour); Jen in the UK Premier of John and Jen (The Finborough), Les Miserables (including the 25th Anniversary concert London’s O2 Arena), Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Maria in Twelfth Night (all for Antic Disposition – London, and France tours), Love Song of the Electric Bear (2015, Arts Theatre, West End), Cleopatra and Edith Pretty in BAFTA winning Relic: Guardians of the Museum (2010, BBC) and Madame Deux Visage, Librarian Mutternot and Ethelena in 4 series of BAFTA winning Trapped (Between 2007 and 2010, CBBC), to name a few.
Training: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
Graham is currently the Assistant to the Director at London Studio Centre. His performing career in theatre includes Cats (International Tour & RCCL), Grease (European Tour), Babes In Arms (Chichester Festival Theatre) Spamalot (West End), Footloose (West End), Annie Get Your Gun (UK Tour) and White Christmas (UK Tour). Graham has taught at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Mountview, London Studio Centre, MAPA, Italia Conti, LSMT, Pineapple Dance, Base Studios, Dance Attic, Brilliant Theatre, Forecast Academy and Theatre Monkeys. He has also delivered Musical Theatre and Dance masterclasses in Rome, Turin, Milan, Shanghai, Miami and Copenhagen.
Graham is the Founder and Creative Director of The Fourth Wall Studio, a company that delivers Professional Development and Audition Technique Masterclasses and Workshops with current working professionals from Theatre and TV.
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.
Liesl Dowsett PDTD ARAD
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 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. She currently teaches at the Central School of Ballet Junior’s, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Guildford School of Acting and at the Roshe School.
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. He also took four “Billys” to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister, co-ordinated the staging of the 5th Birthday Gala Performance of the show, and directed the first 2 years of the ground-breaking “Billy Elliot Youth Theatre” Project.
Nick was Associate Director of Rock of Ages (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.
Nick has enjoyed a long association with the internationally-regarded West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company, with whom he has directed productions as diverse as Guys and Dolls, Coriolanus, Oh! What a Lovely War!, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn, and Berkoff’s Metamorphosis.
He has 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.
This Summer, Nick directed a brand new production of Jesu Cristo Superestrella (Jesus Christ Superstar) in Mexico City, a production for which he was nominated as Best Director in ‘Los Metros’ the National Theatre Awards. The production also won ‘Best Musical’.
Nick is proud to have originated and led Hear the People Sing, an original staging of Les Miserables using over 100 young people from the communities of West Yorkshire to celebrate the life and values of the British MP Jo Cox, murdered in 2016.
Chris is an award winning West End and international choreographer, with many years experience working on a variety of productions for both theatre and television. Chris trained at London Studio Centre before beginning his career as a performer, after several years as a performer he became assistant choreographer to Adrian Edmeads for CBeebies and began to developed his own style as a choreographer. Eventually leaving performing to follow his career in choreography, Chris is now a highly respected and sought after musical theatre choreographer working with a long list of directors and companies developing new shows and mounting new productions of many classic musicals.
In 2018 Chris won best choreographer at the Off West End Awards for his work on Top Hat. Chris’ choreography credits include; The Adventures of Pinocchio (UK tour); Cry-Baby (Arts Educational); Seussical (Southwark Playhouse); Dick Whittington (Kenton Theatre, Henley); Top Off The Pops:West End Bares (Shaftesbury Theatre); Live & Let Hedge (Savoy Theatre); Oh My Nellie Bly! (World Premier, Bridewell Theatre); West Side Story (Bishopsgate Institute); Talk Of The Town: Judy’s Back (Live at the Hippodrome); Peter Pan (UK open air tour); Sister Act (Stockwell Playhouse); Jungle Book (UK tour); Top Hat (Gatehouse Theatre); Snow White and the Dwarves (Civic Theatre, Chelmsford); Wizard of Oz (Harrow Arts Centre); Robin Hood (Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames); 9 to 5 (Gatehouse Theatre); Ruby Strippers:West End Bares (Novello Theatre); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Italian Gardens, Guildford); Wind in the Willows (UK open air Tour); Blondel (Union Theatre); Judy! (Arts Theatre, West End); Shout! (Associate Director/Choreographer, UK tour); Aladdin (Millfield Theatre); Anything Goes (Gatehouse Theatre); Hamlet – the rock musical (Italian national tour); Give My Regards To Broadway (Gatehouse Theatre); Peter Pan (UAE international tour); Through The Mill (Southwark Playhouse); Lucky Stiff (Lylian Baylis Theatre); You Won’t Succeed On Broadway If You Don’t Have Any Jews (St. James Theatre & International); Singin’ In The Rain (Gatehouse Theatre); Gatsby (Arts Theatre); A Catered Affair (London Theatre Workshop); Beauty & The Beast (also associate director, UAE international tour); Romeo & Juliet (Ashcroft Theatre); The Apple Tree, Little Me (Rose and Crown Theatre); Assassins (The Pleasance, London). Original workshops of Grimm, Gossamer & Berlin Non Stop.
André Fabien Francis
While successfully auditioning for the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre: Aspiring Dance Mentoring Scheme, Under the direction of Liz Dale – Director of Dance at ISTD – and Hannah Dye – Head of Programming for Breathe Arts and Freelance Producer for English National Ballet – André was scouted to join the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Programme at The Place: London Contemporary Dance School. After nearly 3 years, André graduated from The Place: CAT accepting a fully funded place at London Studio Centre (LSC). During his time at LSC André took some time out to attend The Ailey School – the training ground for the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Summer Intensive in 2013, before returning to LSC where in 2014 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Following graduation, André joined the ensemble of The Lion King, Germany where he was trusted with the responsibility of teaching Company Class. On returning to the UK André joined the West End Production of Wicked in the prestigious Ribbon Boy Track before going on to play Paul in Kiss Me Kate at The Watermill Theatre choreographed by Oti Mabuse – for which André was the Dance Captain and was nominated for the BroadwayWorldUK: Best Supporting Actor Award.
Before joining the faculty at Trinity Laban: Centre for Advanced Training as a Dance Teacher, André played Seaweed J Stubbs in Hairspray for The Grange Park: Pimlico Opera; and then simultaneously played Issachar in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at The London Palladium – alongside Alexandra Burke, Linzi Hateley & Jason Donovan – and most recently played Richie Walters in the Made At Curve production of A Chorus Line. During this time, André was headhunted to join the Faculty at Trinity Laban: Music & Dance, as a freelance choreographer and as a Technique Lecturer on their Honours Programmes.
Having worked in the Arts industry for two decades, André has danced, taught, assisted, created work and been mentored both nationally & internationally. Working with world class artists, theatres and organisations including: Richard Alston, Denzil Bailey, English National Ballet, Thea Barnes (1952-2018), James Bennett, the Southbank Centre, the Olympic Ceremonies, Royal Academy of Dance, Artistry Youth Dance, Nikolai Foster, the Royal Albert Hall, Rebecca Howell, Richard Jones, Ellen Kane, Trinity Laban, Paul Liburd, Oti Mabuse, Mandy Montanez, Alex Parker, Joan Peters, Richard Roe, Jane Sanig, Tamara Saringer, David Shrubsole, Judine Somerville, Christian Storm, the CDMT, Disney Theatrical Productions, Eric Underwood, Antoine Vereecken, Buddy Watkins, Nikki Woollaston and Sadler’s Wells. Which André continuously utilizes to inspire his work in the studio, on stage and off stage.