After graduating from the University of York I went to Cardiff to study theatre practice on an innovative postgraduate course based at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff. Whilst there I was exposed to the movement work of Moving Being, the Cardiff Lab and also to a number of mime artists (it was the early 1980s, when mime was not a dirty word). After Cardiff I determined to find out more about mime, physical theatre and movement - I started by going to study with Desmond Jones in London. Desmond had trained with Etienne Decroux and his passion for that work started my interest in the whole French mime tradition and its origins in the work of Jacques Copeau. I decided to explore this world further and went to Paris myself to study first with Jacques Lecoq for a year, and then with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux (two former Lecoq teachers who had set up their own school). That was a deeply formative part of my life. On my return I performed, directed and taught, until I found myself drawn towards teaching as a full-time career. I have worked at the Arts Educational School (Tring Park), Coventry Centre for the Performing Arts, and Coventry University. During this time I have also studied with Yoshi Oida (a leading member of Peter Brook's CIRT company). In 2003 I was awarded a PhD for my research into movement training for the modern actor. My thesis was later published by Routledge. In 2012 I was awarded a personal chair - Professor of Theatre Training and Education - at Coventry University.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
I am interested in actor training and in particular how the body participates in training for performance. I have written on the work of Jacques Copeau and Jacques Lecoq and the influence of their work on UK theatre practice.