at ActUpNorth


Peter Hunt Bio

Peter Hunt


Peter trained as an actor at the prestigious London Drama School ‘Arts Ed’, and posses a wealth of experience across Film, TV and Theatre having worked in the industry from an early age.

Peter has an impressive list of TV and Film appearances staring in popular titles such as ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘A&E’, ‘Videopolis’, ‘Be Aware’ and BBC 3 sitcom ‘The Gemma Factor’.

Having stared in the UK Premier of Ciaran McConville’s ‘Lay your Sleeping Head’ his experience also spans onto the stage obtaining theatre credits in ‘Eight’, ‘As You Like It’,‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘A Duty of Care’, ‘Friendly Fire’, ‘Company’ ‘The Play That Killed Me’, ‘God Wept’, ‘The Devil Laughed’ and recently in ‘The Lonely Clouds’ at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester.

Graduating with a degree in Film & TV production, Peter has also worked behind the camera on household titles such as ‘Where the Heart is’ (ITV), ‘Shameless’ (C4) and ‘The Innocence Project’ (BBC). Experiencing both sides of the camera has led him to work in casting, as an agent and further fulfilled the role as the casting assistant for ‘Where The Heart Is’,‘Coronation Street’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Eastenders’, ‘Holby City’, ‘Judge John Deed’ and ‘Walking the Dead’. A highlight for Peter was being selected as an assistant to help cast additional roles in Manchester for the filming of Guy Richie’s Warner Brother’s Movie ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

Peter’s commitment to further his career led him to spend a year working for ITV Drama Manchester in 2006 organising and co-ordinating titles including ‘Mobile’, ‘Cold Blood’ and the popular series ‘Blue Murder’ starring Caroline Quentin.

Devoting his career to working with actors, Peter founded ActUpNorth in 2009 to provide training programmes for actors outside of London. Peter now continues to commit his time to nurture and discover the next generation of actors in his position as Casting Director of ‘Hollyoaks’ and Head of Casting for Lime Pictures UK.

David Crowley Bio

David Crowley


David is an award-winning director in both Theatre and Film, picking up numerous laurels & nominations for his work. He worked as ‘Associate Director’ at West Yorkshire Playhouse on the UK Tour of ‘Beryl’ by Maxine Peake, picking up MTA nominations and a London transfer to the Rose Theatre.  In addition to working with a variety of theatre producers and companies throughout the UK he notably worked as Associate Director of Troublehouse Theatre Manchester for a number of years.

David is an independent filmmaker and Director of ‘Steel Films’. Here he has written and directed award winning short films and Web Series. He is currently working on a feature film due for release next year.

David teaches ‘Acting for Camera/ Screen Acting’ at various Drama Schools and Universities throughout the UK, where he also directs a variety of classical and contemporary plays.

A bulk of David’s TV work is ‘On Set Acting Coach’ at Lime Pictures, where he works closely with the regular actors on ‘Hollyoaks’, developing scenes and shaping performances which have gone on to achieve both National Television and Soap Award winners and nominations.

As an actor David appeared on ‘Coronation Street’ (ITV) ‘Emmerdale’ (ITV) ‘Hollyoaks’ (C4) ‘The Syndicate’ (BBC) ‘Moving On’ (ITV) ‘Animal Crackers’. ‘In the Flesh’ (BBC) as well as commercials for a variety of well-known brands, including ‘The Coop’, ‘Pomigrate’ and ‘Bensons for Beds’

Corrie Shelley


Corrie has vast experience of working and managing offices having worked with some of the UK’s leading companies.

Corrie has always had a keen interest in the world of acting and the performing arts and was thrust back into this side of the industry after getting much recognition for her work with leading northern agents taking professional actors headshots.

Corrie understands the needs of all of our pupils and tutors and takes it upon herself to ensure the smooth running of the school.

A number of years ago she established her own photography company and continues to run her business alongside her work with ActUpNorth. www.actorsheadshotsmanchester.com

Corrie is also a freelance Casting Assistant and has worked on some major commercial campaigns including, MacDonalds, Barclaycard, Sofology & Safestyle.

Nathan McMullen


Nathan trained at Manchester School of Theatre and began his career working at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in the Worm Collector. He has also worked at The Liverpool Everyman as Witch 3 in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, The Royal Court Liverpool in Alan Bleasdale’s ‘Down The Dock Road’ and later returned to the West Yorkshire Playhouse as the title role in Jack and The Beanstalk.

His first Television appearance would be as Guest Lead role Devlan O’Connor in Casualty. Soon followed by Coronation Street ‘A Knights Tale’ and ‘Kelly + Victor’. All before landing a Leading Role in Channel 4’s Misfits series 4&5 playing the role of Finn. He has since had parts in BBC’s ‘The Driver’ and Dr Who Christmas Special ‘Last Christmas’.

Ben Addis

TUTOR (BA Acting)

Ben trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has worked extensively across the mediums of Theatre, Film, TV, Radio and Voice-Over.

He has worked with several prominent screen directors including: Paul Andrew Williams, Saul Metzstein, Dan Zeff and Dusan Lazarevic across a number of high profile productions for the BBC and ITV.  A career highlight was working with Martin Scorsese on his feature film ‘Hugo.’

In addition to his screen work Ben regularly works in radio drama, audio commercials and records audio books.

Over the years he has shared the screen with the likes Ian Mckellen, Romola Garai, Martin Freeman, Jodie Whittaker, Richard E Grant, Brenda Blethyn and Matt Smith…and has tried to steal all their best tricks, many of which he hopes to share with his students at ActUpNorth.

Dean Smith


Dean Smith is an actor, director and writer from Leeds.

As a 15 year old Dean was chosen to attend the BAFTA award winning ITV run ‘Television Workshop’. Whilst still at the workshop Dean made his professional acting debut, playing Philip Ryan in the BBC drama ‘Waterloo Road’.

Other TV credits have included ‘Casualty’, ‘Being Victor’, ‘The Great Train Robbery’, ‘The Village’, ‘Common’, ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Snatch’, and William Elliot in BBC1s ‘Last Tango In Halifax’.

Film credits include ‘Awaydays’, ‘Cotton Stones’ and the lead role in Ridley Scott’s 3D movie ‘The Foundling’.

Radio credits include ‘Pulse’, ‘Stone’, ‘Here After’, ‘Brief Lives’ and JB Priestleys ‘Bright Day’ series all on BBC Radio 4.

Theatre credits include the world premier of Richard Cameron’s ‘Schoolboy/Lover’ at The West Yorkshire Playhouse, UK tours of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, Agatha Christie’s ‘A Murder Is Announced’ and most recently the lead role in the world premier tour of Ruth Rendell thriller ‘Gallowglass’.

Dean was the face of Yorkshire Tea between 2015 and 2017 and admits to being a Leeds fan.

Amanda Clapham

TUTOR (BA Acting)

Amanda graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre (MMU) in 2012.

She is best known for her portrayal of Holly Cunningham in Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’ – a series regular and fan-favourite for the past 5 years.

Prior to Hollyoaks, Amanda filmed her first Commercial for The Perfume Shop. Amanda also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in ‘Norris & Parker – All Our Friends Are Dead’ and played many leading roles during her training, to include Cissy in ‘Punk Rock’ and Lady Anne in ‘Richard III’.

Lee Toomes Bio

Lee Toomes


Lee trained at the Arden School of Theatre gaining a first-class BA Hons in Acting.

TV credits include ‘Peaky Blinders’ (BBC), ‘CARE’ (ITV), ‘Doctors’ (BBC) ‘The Body Farm’ (BBC) ‘Shameless’ (C4), ‘The Syndicate’ (BBC) ‘In the Flesh” (BBC), ‘The Driver’ (BBC).

Theatre credits include: ‘4minutes 12seconds’ (Oldham Coliseum) ‘Full Monty’ (National Tour), ‘Beryl’ (West Yorkshire Playhouse), ‘REF!’ And ‘Before The Leaves Fall’ (Space2), ‘The House Behind the Lines’ (Buglight Theatre), Father Laurence in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Mr Shu Fu in ‘The Good Person of Szechwan’, Obseno in ‘Illyria’ at the RNCM,  ‘Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks & Mother Goose’ (The Lamp room Theatre) and ‘The Fanny Hill Project’ with Theatre State at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Lyric Hammersmith.

Lee is actively involved in the Union, and is currently a committee member of the Leeds & Riding General Equity Branch. He is passionate about making sure actors concerns are heard within the industry, especially here in the north. Away from acting Lee also works as a trainer, coach and facilitator for many large corporations and also runs his own production company.

Rachel Toomes


With a degree in Media, Rachel has experience both in front of and behind the camera. She is a trained teacher and has previously taught on the adult acting course at Wakefield College.

Rachel’s TV credits include In the Flesh (BBC3), The Syndicate (BBC), Last Tango in Halifax (BBC), Coronation Street (ITV) Emmerdale (ITV), Happy Valley (BBC) and most recently 4 O’Clock Club (CBBC). Recent commercials include Oak Furniture Land, WeBuyAnyCar and ASDA.

Rachel has also had roles in various corporate videos and short films.

Rachel’s stage credits include A View from the Bridge at Wakefield Theatre Royal, Oliver at Leeds Grand, and many appearances with Jaba Theatre Co at Wakefield Theatre Royal and Leeds City Varieties.

Nat Grady Bio

Natalie Grady


Natalie trained as an actor at Drama Centre London and has gained extensive experience in the business working with acclaimed actors and directors.

Theatre Includes: See How They Run (West End), As You Like It (RSC and Sheffield Crucible), Gallithea (Shakespeare’s Globe),The Wits (Shakespeare’s Globe), Rafta,Rafta (National Theatre),Tiger at the Gates (National Theatre), What the Butler Saw (Salisbury Playhouse), The Importance of Being Earnest (Library Theatre Company),Merlin and the Woods of time(Chester Open air),As You Like It(Chester Open air),The Daughter in Law (Library Theatre Company at the Lowry),Peter Pan (Bolton Octagon), Mother Courage and her Children (Library Theatre and Lowry Theatre), The Illiad -workshop (Royal Exchange Theatre),The Love Inn (Bolton Octagon).

Television Includes: Doctors (BBC), Jam and Jerusalem (BBC), Coronation Street (Granada TV).

Awards: Olivier and What’s On Stage Nomination ‘Best Revival’ for See How They Run 2006. Olivier Award Winner ‘Best Comedy’ for Rafta, Rafta 2007 Manchester Theatre Award Winner ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for The Daughter in Law 2012.

Alongside acting, Natalie works as a freelance voice tutor specializing in phonetics, RP and accents and as well as teaching for ActUpNorth, she teaches and directs at ALRA. She has recently developed and directed, alongside Chris Honer, a professional development scheme for the Library Theatre Company, ‘Playing Up North’, which showcases Manchester actors.

John Askew


John trained at The Arts Educational Schools London. He most recently appeared in the Julian Fellowes Netflix drama ‘The English Game’, and in ‘Flack’ playing opposite Academy Award Winner Anna Paquin (nominated for a TV Choice Award).

John teaches Acting technique in a number of leading Drama Schools and Universities across the UK, including The Arts Educational Schools London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Guilford School of Acting, Royal Holloway University, London.

In addition to his Acting and teaching work he has also worked in casting for Casting Directors Emily Tilelli CDA CDG and Tree Petts CDA.

Being a northerner and someone who is passionate about actor training in the north, John is incredibly excited to be part of the brilliant team of tutors at ActUpNorth.

Theatre credits include:
Rita, Sue and Bob Too (Out of Joint/UK Tour),  And Did Those Feet (Bolton Octagon), Gypsy Queen (UK/Toronto/New York), Harvest (New Perspectives/UK Tour), Wuthering Heights, Ladies in Lavender, Rope, Hay Fever (Theatre Royal Windsor), The Revengers Tragedy (Nottingham Playhouse), Darkness Darkness (New Perspectives/Nottingham Playhouse), Romeo & Juliet (Buxton Opera House); An Ideal Husband (New Street Jersey), The Importance Of Being Earnest (St. James Theatre), The Glasshouse (West End), Travesti (Pleasance), Christopher And His Kind, Sing Sing Sing, The Tempest, Don Juan (UK Tour) and 40 Years On (York Theatre Royal)

Television credits include:
The English Game (Netflix), Flack (CBS), The Rook (Lionsgate/Starz), Shameless (Channel 4), Spooks: Code 9 (BBC), The Street (ITV)

Film credits include:
Wasted, Two Sides.

Radio Includes:
The Legend of Robin Hood (Augustine), Killer By Nature, Unheard (Audible) and Dark Shadows (Big Finish)

Chris Brett


Chris trained at Bretton Hall and since graduating has worked professionally in TV, Theatre and radio.

TV Credits Include: BBC Comedy sketch show ‘Scallywagga’ , ‘Coronation Street'(ITV), ‘The 4 O’clock Club’ (BBC), ‘Signs of the Zodiac’ (BBC) and ‘Diamond Geezer’ (ITV).

In addition to his work on screen Chris has appeared in numerous theatre productions playing at venues such as ‘The Lowry’, ‘Contact’, ‘Home’ and ‘The New Vic’ theatres as well as Outdoor touring productions with ‘North Country Theatre’.

Chris has also worked extensively for BBC radio on productions such as ‘Big Beach Boutique’, ‘The Tree Story’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘The Romans’ and ‘Boudicca’.

His varied work has also seen him voice over for ‘Hollyoaks’ and taken part in ad campaigns for  ‘Dreams’ and ‘Sanofi’ . He has recently started to write and perform stand and sketch up comedy.

Chris is also a drama practitioner/ acting tutor with years of experience directing/devising plays, providing workshops for prestigious institutions such as LIPA, with large cast shows being performed in professional theatres and most recently spent a year teaching and directing plays with students of Oldham College’s performing arts course in The Grange Theatre and providing skills based workshops for the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.

Michaela Longden


Michaela trained at ALRA (The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) and since graduating has worked extensively across theatre, film & TV with screen roles in a variety of daytime and primetime slots. Michaela has also appeared in several award-winning shorts and feature films and recently wrote and co-produced her first short film ‘Asphyxiate’.

Michaela’s recent TV credits include: ‘Doctors’ (BBC), ‘Hollyoaks’ (C4), ‘Coronation Street’ (ITV) and ‘Mommune’ (BBC). Michaela can currently be seen playing the role of Mona in ‘Book of Monsters’ on Sky Cinema and VOD.

In addition to her work on screen Michaela has performed in theatrical productions at venues such as ‘The Royal Exchange’, ‘The LBT’ and Oldham Coliseum.

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