We were thrilled to recently host workshops for all our current students with Gemma Hancock and Sam Stevenson. Between them they have cast a number of projects including ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Inspector Lynley’, ‘Holby City’ and ‘Eastenders’. They are currently casting ‘One Man Two Governors’ for the National Theatre.
The leading independent training school for actors, ActUpNorth is set to celebrate its fifth birthday this month which coincides with an exciting new collaboration with the renowned drama school, The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). The new partnership with ALRA will see ActUpNorth and the drama school working together to offer outstanding tuition and support services for aspiring actors throughout their training. As well as the new partnership, actors from across the North are also preparing to honour the outstanding success of the drama school over the last five years, which now operates across Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to educate the next generation of theatrical stars. Since the doors of ActUpNorth first opened by its principal Peter Hunt in 2009, the school has continued to grow in strength, making way for an array of talent to break into the world of television following their enrollment at the school. Having experienced the industry first hand Peter is passionate about providing actors with the best possible start to break into the acting profession. The latest partnership announcement has delighted Peter who feels the timely collaboration will enhance the aspiring actor’s career support. Peter comments: “ActUpNorth is delighted that ALRA has recognised the high quality of our training and has chosen to form a partnership. We will work with ALRA to identify areas in which both institutions can work together to offer a complete and ongoing support system for actors. “The exciting news has been welcomed as we celebrate a landmark achievement for the school and the partnership will help us to pave the way for more successful years to come.” ALRA Co-Director Adrian Hall, said “It makes absolute sense for two of the best providers of drama training in the North West to collaborate and offer a range of exceptionally high quality classes and courses for aspiring and current actors.”
Chris Maloney has recently formed ‘Love Casting’ a new northern based casting house having previously spent a number of years working with Beverley Keogh. Love Casting offers a nationwide casting service for TV & Radio Commercials as well as TV Drama and film. Recent credits include: TVC’s for John Lewis, Thinkbox, Mr kiplings, Aldi, McCains, KFC, Yorkshire Tea, ESPN, Channel 4, Betfair, Bensons Beds, Albelli, YouView, McDonalds, and Sainsburys to name but a few.
Jane Oakshott directs the Leeds-based theatre company Trio Literati; and lectures regularly on acting at the National Museum for Photography, Film & Television, Bradford, and is a member and Trustee of the Voice Care Network UK; since 1999 she has run Personal Communication Skills Workshops and is an accredited trainer for the Law Society of England and Wales. She was appointed MBE in the 2008 New Year Honours list for her services to drama.
Manuel’s recent Casting Director credits include: Skeletons (Jason Isaacs and Paprika Steen), Moon (Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey), Dead Man Running (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Brenda Blethyn and Danny Dyer), The Code (Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas and Radha Mitchell) and Scorpion King 2 (Michael Copon and Karen David). Manuel has worked in the British film industry since 1995. He started as an assistant to casting director Jeremy Zimmermann and worked on over 20 film and television productions including projects directed by award winning directors Sir Richard Attenborough, Guillermo del Toro and Nic Roeg. In 2000 he was headhunted by Michael Foster, then co-chairman of ICM, Europe’s leading talent agent, to assist with an A-list roster of clients including Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, Orlando Bloom, Michael Caine, Kirstin Scott Thomas, Ben Kingsley, Julie Christie, and the directors Shekhar Kapur and Richard Loncraine.
Prolific Casting Director Sue Jones has worked on numerous Feature Film and TV credits for Europe and the USA including prestigious projects such as ‘Nil by Mouth’ and ‘Human Traffic’ and dramas for Hallmark and CBS. Sue has worked with a number of top directors including Shane Meadows and Robert De Niro.
Mel has worked as an on set acting coach for many years and has worked on some of the biggest and most popular films ever made. She has worked on set with the likes of Daniel Craig, Angelina Jolie and Henry Cavill.
Suzy’s recent casting credits include ‘Breakthrough’ a short film directed by Damien Goodwin starring Patrick O’Kane, Blake Ritson and Gillian Kearney and the UK casting on ‘Primeval New World’ and on the last two series of ‘Primeval’ for Impossible Pictures; UK casting for Shaftesbury Films on ‘The Inspector Murdoch Mysteries’, series 1 to 6; ‘A Bunch of Amateurs’ (feature) starring Burt Reynolds; television series include: ‘Lifeline’ and ‘Empathy’, 2 series of ‘Silent Witness’ and 3 series of ‘Casualty as well as numerous one-off dramas. She cast the award winning documentary drama ‘D-Day’ for the BBC. Casting associate film work includes Francois Ozon’s ‘Swimming Pool’ and ‘Stormbreaker’. Other casting work includes BBC 1’s ‘D-Day’ and ‘Ny-Lon’ for Channel 4. Casting Assistant work includes the feature films ‘Sense and Sensibility’ , ‘Hackers’ and ‘The English Patient’. Suzy is a member of the Casting Directors Guild of Great Britain, has twice been a judge on the Olivier Awards panel.
“…CONGRATULATIONS ON RUNNING SUCH AN EXCELLENT SCHOOL WITH SUCH INTERESTING STUDENTS!”
Sarah Hughes is Alan Ayckbourn’s preferred casting director, casting world premieres of his plays at the Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough, in the West End, at the National Theatre and on Broadway, as well as all other productions at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. For the last ten years, she has also been a freelance casting director in the Entertainment Department of the BBC, where series include JONATHAN CREEK, GRASS, LOVE SOUP, PARENTS OF THE BAND, 2 PINTS OF LAGER, PULLING, John Sullivan’s ROCK & CHIPS, and in 2010 the second series of THE OLD GUYS for BBC1, FREEDOM for BBC Scotland and THE GREAT OUTDOORS for BBC4. Freelance theatre work includes several plays for the West Yorkshire Playhouse and for the Theatre Royal Northampton, three productions for Frantic Assembly, including 2008’s TMA award-winning OTHELLO; commercials, children’s TV and drama documentaries. In 2010, as well as THE OLD GUYS and THE GREAT OUTDOORS for the BBC, she cast TAKING STEPS for the Orange Tree in Richmond, NOISES OFF and FIRST PERSON SHOOTER for Birmingham Rep and Alan Ayckbourn’s latest play LIFE OF RILEY and a revival of COMMUNICATING DOORS for the Stephen Joseph Theatre. In 2011 she cast LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN for BBC2, Alan Ayckbourn’s two new plays, DEAR UNCLE and NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, and Abi Morgan’s LOVE SONG for Frantic Assembly, amongst other projects. In 2012 she has been working full time casting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies. Sarah is just about to start casting a new comedy for BBC written by Ben Elton.
A huge thank you to Rick from Lime Pictures who gave up his weekend to work with all our students in Leeds and Manchester!