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Faculty and Staff

All of our practitioners, tutors and directors are working in the industry and in this way we can genuinely claim that our training is for the profession by the profession. Our working faculty continually take note of industry developments to bring passion, integrity and commitment to every minute of rehearsal or class.

We also have a team of specialist workshop teachers and guest lecturers. 


Emma Lucia Hands 
Emma Lucia Hands

Emma is a theatre director and producer who predominantly worked for Clwyd Theatr Cymru directing productions such as The Herbal Bed (Peter Whelan), Ghosts and A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen), Arms and the Man (George Bernard Shaw), Copenhagen (Michael Frayn), Educating Rita (Willy Russell), God of Carnage (Yasmina Reza), Shakespeare’s Will (Vern Thiessen) and Oleanna (David Mamet). Her producing credits for the company included new writing to London and New York - Memory (Jonathan Lichtenstein), and Pieces (Hywel John). As a freelancer she most recently directed Closer (Patrick Marber) for The Vienna English Theatre and A History of Falling Things (James Graham) at the New Vic Theatre. Emma has produced a number of Lifetime Achievement Award ceremonies for the film, television and theatre industries on behalf of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. She has a BA (hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MA in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University and GITIS (The Russian Institute of Theatre Arts), Moscow.


Jonathan Kemp

Jonny Kemp

Jonny has spent many years directing shows for companies touring in the UK and across Europe, including Chekhov’s Shorts, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Animal Farm, Lady Windermere’s Fan and The 39 Steps as well as numerous Dickens adaptations of his own - The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, etc. As an actor he has performed all over the world from 42nd St, NYC to Kyoto and Osaka via Rome, Athens, Berlin and Abu Dhabi as well as the National Theatre, the West End and major TV series in the UK and US. 




Gary Pillai

Gary Pillai

Gary has worked extensively in film, television, theatre, and radio playing lead roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Royal Exchange Manchester and Sadler’s Wells. He has also worked with ground-breaking companies such as Shared Experience, Complicite, Tara Arts, Tamasha and Kali Theatre. His numerous television credits include; Mammals, The Canterville Ghost, Breeders, Bodyguard, Game of Thrones, Citizen Khan, Black Earth Rising, Hard Sun, Silent Witness and Torchwood. He played, opposite Michelle Yeoh, in the critically acclaimed film ‘Far North’ directed by Oscar and Bafta winning directed Asif Kapadia. He was Vikram in ‘The Arches’ and has read ‘Book at Bedtime’ for BBC radio.

He was previously Head of Outreach for Oxford School of Drama, Head of Education for Triforce Creative Network. Gary is an associate lecturer at University for the Creative Arts (UCA), visiting director at Rose Bruford, Manchester School of Theatre, Actors Studio and a guest lecturer at the Royal College of Art.



Keith O'Brien
Keith OBrien

Movement & Period Movement Teacher

Keith’s performance career has ranged from cabaret, film work and theatre work (including West End). Keith has worked in a variety of movement and dance styles and genres. He has worked as movement director/choreographer, both professionally and within colleges, including The Laban Centre, East 15 and ArtsEd, on numerous productions. Keith has been involved in training actors and dancers for the past 40 years.  


Dewi Hughes
Dewi Hughes

Voice, Applied Voice, Phonetics & Speech Teacher

Dewi has worked as Voice Coach and Accent Coach on a number of theatre productions, including international tours and shows on London's West End. Prior to his work with the Studio he has taught at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Drama Centre, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and Arts Educational Schools London. He has also been interviewed by the BBC and Time Magazine about his work with clients from the corporate field. 



Owyn Stephens
Owyn Beard

Owyn has taught at many Drama schools including Mountview, LIPA, ALRA and East 15 and specialises in all things screen as well as preparing Graduating Actors for entry into the workplace.

As a writer and director he has been long listed for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Award, taken shorts to festivals such as Cannes and San Francisco and produced a selection of comedy online. He produced and MC’d the Ritzy Picturehouse’s comedy programme for 5 years and won The Pokes best sketch in 2012 gaining national press coverage and acclaim from the like of Sam Bain (Peep Show, Fresh Meat) and Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, The Peter Serafinowicz Show).

As an Actor Owyn has worked with the likes of Mike Bartlett, Ollie Parsons, Tadas Vidmantas and Blanche McIntyre. He has completed national tours of Henry V, Playboy of the Western World and Romeo & Juliet.

Max Saunders-Singer

Max trained as an actor at the Italia Conti Acting Academy, and went on to gain an MA in Dramatic Writing at Central Saint Martins. 

As an actor, writer and director Max has worked across theatre and film, creating original/award winning drama, and has built a wide network of industry collaborators. 

He is immensely passionate about training actors for work on screen, and has been teaching, directing and developing recorded media courses for over eight years in leading film and drama schools in the U.K and U.S.


David Angus FHEA
David Angus

After training at DSL 1979-80, David worked as an actor for the next 20 years, appearing in the theatre on many tours, in Rep, in the West End, and on Television, Radio and Films.

Increasingly working as a voice over artist, David was invited to work as a producer at Logorhythm Studios in Soho in the 1990’s, responsible for producing Radio Dramas, Adverts, Documentaries, Talking Books, Animations, Television Soundtracks, and Actors' show reels. Today he continues to work as a freelance producer/ writer/voiceover artist and teacher, producing independent audiobooks, voice reels, corporate videos, and commercials.

In 1999 David became Head of Radio at Webber Douglas Academy, and in 2001 Recorded Voice Tutor at Drama Centre, London, and he has taught radio, verse and acting classes at Mountview, at Cygnets Training Theatre, The Actors’ Centre, and the University of the Arts, Bournemouth. 



Charlie Barker
Charlie Barker

Charlie was an actor for over 25 years before turning her hand to teaching and directing in vocational drama schools, including being head of acting at ArtsEd and head of course at PPA. As an actor she worked in repertory theatres in Clywd, Derby, Salisbury, Chester, Exeter, Manchester and Greenwich, and started her career in the West End in the original production of Stepping Out. More recently she started her own theatre company, Persever Productions, directing the London Premiere of Tokens of Affection at Waterloo East. This summer Charlie staged a joint production with DSL of a 60 minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Walpole Park, with DSL graduates alongside professional actors. Charlie has a BA in Performance studies, a PGC in Shakespeare and Text, and a master’s degree in text and performance.

Emma Kershaw

Emma Kershaw

Emma is an actress and concert artist. She trained on the violin and piano on a scholarship at the Royal College of Music and went on to Trinity Music College, London, then London Repertory Academy to study drama. She has taught at Arts Ed, Drama Studio London, ACM Guildford, London Studio Centre and ICMP.


Titania Krimpas

Titania Krimpas

Titania Krimpas studied at The University of Birmingham and Central School of Speech and Drama. She holds an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa. She was trainee director with Shared Experience Theatre & Salisbury Playhouse, mentored by Katie Mitchell. She also assisted at the RSC, Lyric Hammersmith, The Young Vic and The Salisbury Festival.

She’s directed at The Half Moon, Young Vic Studio, The Unicorn and with The Stable, as well as many drama schools. She also works as a dramaturge, and mentor for authors with Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.

Tamsin Stanley

Tamsin studied at Cambridge University. Working since then as a producer/project/company manager across TV, live events, tours, opera and theatre, she has also managed venues, created education resources and marketing campaigns alongside theatre projects as a dramaturg, production designer and writer. She has worked for various UK drama schools as a tutor, director and head of studies, including Italia Conti, Fourth Monkey, Drama Centre and for the umbrella organisation Federation of Drama Schools, alongside developing new courses, quality assurance, student engagement and support roles.

Ishwar Maharaj
Ishwar Maharaj

Ishwar Maharaj is a writer and director with over 26 years experience in the industry and is the founder of Company O Theatre, which specialises in new writing, adaptions and installations.

He also works internationally and is co-artistic director of Teatteri Vertigo in Finland, which produces large scale immersive, promenade and site-specific productions. 

Jelena Budimir

Jelena Budimir

Jelena is a freelance director, writer, actor, and theatre practitioner.

She trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2018 she co-founded All Ignite Theatre, productions for All Ignite include White Guy on the Bus, Beast on the Moon and Property, a new play about the London housing crisis. Previously she was Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre. Her direction has covered new writing, classics, and work for young people and children, musicals, and adaptations.

Kieran Stallard

KieranStallard web Kieran trained at LAMDA. He is currently working as a musical director. He has worked on national tours of musicals and improvised comedy. He has also worked as a stand-up comedy director and a sketch comedy director.

Lucinda Lloyd

LucindaLloyd web

Lucinda graduated from ALRA completing the 3 year Diploma in Acting and has since trained extensively with Anne Bogart (Viewpoints), Seb Harcombe (Stanislavski) and Ken Campbell (Improvisation).

Lucinda is a highly skilled practitioner combining her skills as an actor, artist and writer. She has worked with many prestigious theatres and companies for the past 15 years including The Globe, The Royal Court, BAC and The Scottish Dance Theatre. She was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Home and was selected for The New Writers programme at The Royal Court & The Arcola.

Emma Filby

EmmaFilby web

Emma has worked as an actor, director and vocalist within professional theatre both in the UK, Canada, US and Europe.

After completing her training at The Bristol Old Vic drama school, Emma worked alongside young film makers at UCLA, before returning to the UK to complete a Masters in Shakespeare in Performance - at the Shakespeare Institute in association with the RSC.

Emma is currently the Artistic Director of Tempest Theatre Company and the Assistant Producer for Frinton Summer Theatre.

Rhiannon Neads

RhiannonNeads web

Rhiannon is an actress and writer who trained at LAMDA.

She is one half of musical comedy duo Stiff & Kitsch (Musical Comedy Award Winners 2018) whose debut show Adele Is Younger Than Us sold out venues across the UK & Ireland before transferring to the Soho Theatre. Their latest show Bricking It was an official EdFringe sellout show in 2019. She was Runner Up in the Carleton Hobbs Competition in 2014 leading to a 6 month stint on the BBC Radio Drama Company, and has gone on to work extensively as a voice actor - as well as coaching for the competition itself and teaching audio at DSL, Italia Conti, LAMDA and Mountview.


Admin & Support Staff

Helena Panayis

Helena is a previous graduate from the DSL Diploma course in Professional Acting. She moved to London 2.5 years ago and has worked in various roles in the performing arts industry in Dubai before starting at DSL as interim Office Manager. Helena provides administrative support to staff and students (especially Diploma, MFA and Short Courses) and is also in charge of the admissions process at DSL for all courses.

Toby Parsons

After graduating from Hertfordshire Theatre School, Toby worked for a number of years as an actor and director before moving into theatre management. He joins Drama Studio London after working for Cameron Mackintosh Ltd for the last ten years. Toby is responsible for contracting for all courses. He provides administrative support to the staff and students with a focus on the 3 year BA course.

Estelle Welch

Estelle has recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a BA in Arts Management. She began working at DSL in 2018 on an internship and then stayed on as Administration Assistant. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Manager with responsibilities for in house and external marketing, social media and advertising. She also provides administration support for all departments at DSL.

Honey Gabriel

Honey studied Economics at Loughborough University and went on to work as a Consultant in Private Equity assisting firms with their operational change management. After exploring her love for acting by attending some part-time courses - including DSL’s Evening Beginners Course - Honey successfully auditioned for DSL's 2 Year Diploma course. She graduated in 2019 and continues to work in the industry as an actor and voiceover artist.

Honey works on DSL's outreach programmes including running our Open Day workshops and assistance with our evening courses. She also provides support with the timetable scheduling and other workshops and classes.


Sarah Kay

After graduating from Surrey Institute of Art and Design Sarah worked in buying for a number of large retailers before moving to the charity sector where she worked in the communications department. Here she gained varied experience including administrative and finance duties. Sarah works alongside UWL Finance team and is responsible for all finance administration at DSL.

Jaimie Wakefield

Originally from Shropshire, Jaimie studied Technical Theatre and Stage Management (specialising in Stage & Production Management) at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He has worked in a variety of Technical and Stage Management roles, from fringe shows and opera to films and events and now joins Drama Studio London as Stage Manager. In this role, Jaimie provides technical support to all theatre work, including delivering lighting and sound for each in-house performance, and sourcing props for all classes and performances. Alongside this, he manages the prop stores and co-ordinates hires.

Max Jukes

Max is not only a staff member but also an alumni of Drama Studio London. Whilst studying here he received a Commendation for his work in the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award, which lead to work at the BBC. Since graduating from DSL in 2018 Max has gone on to record voice media for not only film but also large corporate clients like Mercedes-Benzes and Univar Solutions. Max provides technical support for all the recorded media at DSL..


Alison Simmons

Alison spent 15 years working in risk management before taking a career break and retraining in costume making at Kensington and Chelsea College. Outside of DSL she does freelance costume work and is an enthusiastic member of her local drama society. She has a passion for and extensive knowledge of period costume, which she happily shares with our actors.