at ActUpNorth


Peter Hunt Bio

Peter Hunt


Peter originally trained as an actor at the prestigious London Drama School ‘Arts Ed’, and possesses a wealth of experience across Theatre, Film and Television having worked in the industry for over 20 years.

Before moving into Casting, Peter built up an impressive list of TV and Film appearances working with the likes of ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC. Having starred in the UK Premier of Ciaran McConville’s play ‘Lay your Sleeping Head’, his experience also spans on to the stage having worked on productions at some of the UK’s finest theatres.

Peter’s work behind the camera has seen him work on popular titles such as ‘Where the Heart is’ (ITV), ‘Shameless’ (C4) and ‘The Innocence Project’ (BBC) as well as a residency at ITV Drama organising and co-ordinating titles including ‘Mobile’, ‘Cold Blood’ and the popular series ‘Blue Murder’ starring Caroline Quentin.

Experiencing both sides of the camera led Peter to assisting the Casting teams on shows such as ‘Where The Heart Is’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Eastenders’, ‘Holby City’, ‘Judge John Deed’ and ‘Walking the Dead’. A highlight for Peter was assisting to cast additional roles for the filming of Guy Richie’s Warner Brothers movie ‘Sherlock Holmes’ in Manchester.

Devoting his career to working with actors, Peter founded ActUpNorth in 2009 to provide professional and affordable training to actors outside of London.

Peter now continues to commit his time to nurture and discover the next generation of actors in his position as Head of Casting and Casting Director for Lime Pictures UK, where he’s most recently been working on ‘Hollyoaks’ for Channel 4 and the hit Netflix Original series ‘Zero Chill’.

David Crowley

David Crowley


David is an award-winning director working on projects spanning Theatre, Film and Television. Over the years he has won and been nominated for a host of accolades.
A great deal of David’s television work is on Channel 4’s flagship show ‘Hollyoaks’, where he works both as a Director and ‘On-set Acting Coach’. As ‘On-set Acting Coach’ he works closely with the regular actors, developing scenes and shaping performances, which has led to nomination and award success at the likes of The Broadcast Awards, The British Soap Awards, The BAFTAs and the National Television Awards (NTAs).

David worked as ‘Associate Director’ at Leeds 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 across the UK he notably worked as Associate Director of ‘Troublehouse Theatre’ Manchester.

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

David’s vast experience in teaching ‘Acting for Camera’ has seen him work at some of the UK’s most prestigious Drama Schools and Universities where he also directs a variety of TV and Film projects alongside classical and contemporary plays.

Corrie Shelley


Corrie has worked as office manager for some of the UK’s most prestigious companies. She has a lifelong passion for the Arts and was drawn back to the world of Performing Arts after working with a range of Northern based agents, taking headshots for their clients. Her vast experience has helped her to gain a rich understanding of our students’ and tutors’ requirements. The incredibly valuable work Corrie carries out ensures the school continues to run smoothly, year after year.
Corrie also has her own headshot photography company. You can visit the website by clicking here.
Corrie also works as a casting assistant on a freelance basis, having contributed to campaigns for brands including McDonald’s, Barclaycard and Sofology.

Headshot of Felicity Elder

Felicity Elder


Felicity trained at ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) and spent years working as a professional actor both in theatre and television until she opted for a change in career and retrained to become a Detective with the Metropolitan Police. This unique experience allowed her to really grow and see the world from a different perspective, but mainly taught her to keep her cool under pressure! After a few years, the longing for our industry and her passion for the acting world called her back. With her natural ability and desire to help others, she’s thrilled to have joined the team and is always striving to better the student experience at ActUpNorth.

Nathan McMullen


Nathan trained at the Manchester School of Theatre.

Nathan made his professional debut at Leeds Playhouse in ‘The Worm Collector’ and has worked extensively on stage since. Credits include, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Paint Your Wagon’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘The Big I Am’ and ‘Our Lady of Blundellsands’ for Liverpool Everyman, ‘Hushabye Mountain’ for Hope Mill Theatre and ‘Down the Dock Road’ for The Royal Court to name but a few.

Nathan is best known for playing the lead role of Finn in ‘Misfits’ for Channel 4. Other television work includes ‘Casualty’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Shameless’, ‘The Driver’, and ‘Doctor Who’.

Ben Addis image

Ben Addis

TUTOR (BA Acting)

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

Ben regularly works in radio drama, commercials, audio books and on stage. His theatre work has seen him tread the boards at The National Theatre, The Royal Exchange, Leeds Playhouse, The Arcola and Sheffield Crucible.

He has worked with renowned screen directors Lisa Brühlmann, Paul Andrew Williams, Saul Metzstein, Dan Zeff and Dusan Lazarevic across a number of profile productions for likes of HBO, the BBC and ITV. Credits include, ‘The Girl Before’, ‘Hollyoaks’, The Killer Beside Me’, ‘Crown Court’, ‘Vera’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Lewis’. A career highlight was working with Martin Scorsese on his feature film ‘Hugo.’

Over the years he has shared the screen with the likes of Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Martin Freeman, Lesley Manville, David Oyelowo, Jodie Whittaker, Richard E Grant, Brenda Blethyn, Matt Smith and Romola Garai…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


Dean is an actor, director and writer from Leeds. Aged 15 Dean was chosen to attend the BAFTA award winning ITV ‘Television Workshop’. Whilst still at the workshop Dean made his professional acting debut, playing series regular Philip Ryan in two series of the hit BBC drama ‘Waterloo Road’.

Since then, other TV credits have included ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Reunited’, ‘Being Victor’, ‘The Great Train Robbery’, ‘The Village’, ‘Common’, ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Snatch’, Willis in ‘Still Open All Hours’ and William Elliot in BBC1’s ‘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 Priestley’s ‘Bright Day’ series all on BBC Radio 4.

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

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

Helen Buchanan image

Helen Buchanan

TUTOR (BA Acting, MA Actor Training)

Helen trained as an actor at Northumbria University and has since appeared professionally on TV in shows such as ‘Emmerdale’ (ITV), ‘Hollyoaks’ (C4) and Kay Mellor’s ‘The Syndicate’ (BBC).

Helen has appeared in over 20 stage productions including John Godber’s ‘The Last Laugh’ for Northumberland Theatre Company, Bronzehead Theatre and new writing initiatives in association with Leeds Playhouse.

In recent years Helen has developed her passion for training actors by studying an MA in ‘Actor Training and Coaching’ from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

By drawing on humour, and positive psychology, Helen helps the actors she works with build resilience and learns from failure, embracing it, not fearing it.

Image of John AskewJohn Askew


John trained at The Arts Educational Schools London.

He recently appeared in the Julian Fellowes Netflix drama ‘The English Game’, and in ‘Flack’ on Amazon Prime playing opposite Academy Award winner Anna Paquin. Other recent credits include, ‘The Rook’ (Lionsgate/Starz), ‘Doctors’ (BBC), ‘Shameless’ (Channel 4), ‘Spooks: Code 9’ (BBC), ‘The Street’ (ITV).

His theatre credits include, Rita, Sue and Bob Too (Out of Joint/UK Tour), And Did Those Feet (Bolton Octagon), Gypsy Queen (UK/Canada/New York), Harvest (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 West End), 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).

John has taught Acting technique at 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.

Chris Brett image

Chris Brett


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

Image of Michaela Longden outside of ActUpNorth studiosMichaela 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 dramas. 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.

Connor Calland image

Connor Calland

TUTOR (BA Hons – Acting)

Connor trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

He’s best known for his role as Carlton Flynn in hit Netflix drama ‘Stay Close’ and as Jordan Price in ‘Hollyoaks’, which saw him nominated for a Best Newcomer award at the Inside Soap Awards. Other TV work includes, ‘Doctors’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ’We Hunt Together’.

Recent film wort includes ‘Kingsman’ directed by Matthew Vaughn and ‘Last Night in Soho’ directed by Edgar Wright.

Headshot of Lucy Dixon

Lucy Dixon


Lucy Dixon is an actress and voice over artist from Manchester.

Lucy made her debut TV role at the age of 16 playing Danielle Harker in hit BBC drama ‘Waterloo Road’.

Other TV credits include: ‘Casualty’, ‘Endeavour’, ‘Scott and Bailey’, Sky’s ‘Cobra’, ‘Birds of a Feather’ as Dorian’s Granddaughter and regular character Tilly Evans in Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’.

Film Credits include the lead role in ‘Comedienne’

Radio credits include ‘Stone’ and ‘Brief Lives’ both on BBC Radio 4.

Theatre credits include Bill Kenwright’s UK Tour of ‘Rehearsal for Murder’, ‘Lemons Lemons Lemons’, ‘The Stretch’, ‘The Girl from Ward 4’, ‘Keeper’, Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, the lead role of Catherine in the Pulitzer Prize winning play ‘Proof’, and most recently the lead role in the UK tour of Helen Forrester’s ‘By The Waters of Liverpool.’

Lucy was the voice of ‘Sky Q’ Adverts this year.

James Oates


James is an actor, director and producer based in Manchester.

His most recent TV Credits include the UK version of ‘Call My Agent’ (Amazon) and the returning character “Liam” in the second series of ‘The Other One’ (BBC). Other recent screen credits include, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Lagging’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Doctors’.

His recent stage credits include ‘Finding Alice’ (The Lowry/Oldham Coliseum), ‘Orphans’ (Hope Mill Theatre), ‘Of Mice and Men’ (Blackburn Empire), ‘Borstal Boy’ (New York and Edinburgh Fringe).

As well as being an actor, James directs and produces both Film and Theatre. He co-owns Brew Up Productions and recently produced and directed “A Day in the Life”, which will be released later this year. As well as his work in TV and Film, James also works as a Voiceover Artist across Radio, Commercial and Corporate projects.

James brings positivity and fun to his teaching and creates an environment where the actors he works with can take risks and enjoy the process of learning the craft.

Our Acting Schools

Acting Classes Manchester

ActUpNorth Manchester
4th Floor, Unit G
8 Lower Ormond Street
M1 5QF

Acting Classes Leeds

ActUpNorth Leeds
Matrix House
Goodman Street
LS10 1NZ

Acting Classes Liverpool

ActUpNorth Liverpool
Unit 325, 3rd Floor
QD Business Centre
Norfolk Street
L1 0BG