North West Drama's team of experienced drama specialists and other arts professionals all have current DBS checks.  Find out more about us by clicking on the images below.

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Matt Wardle


Creative Producer

Matt is a performer, teacher and drama specialist practitioner. After actor training at Bretton Hall, he became a primary teacher and spent 9 years teaching in Manchester schools, including Medlock Primary in the city centre and Newall Green Primary in Wythenshawe.


He has developed drama-based learning sessions for numerous museums and galleries, is an Associate Artist with Peoplescape Theatre and is a core member of acclaimed street theatre company Plunge Boom. He has also worked with Walk the Plank, National Youth Theatre and M6 Youth Theatre.

For North West Drama Matt operates as Creative Producer, managing the range of our work, as well as directing The Lowry Children's Shakespeare Festivals, delivering CPD and Speech Bubbles.

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Peter Kennedy


Creative Associate (Children's Shakespeare Festivals & Training)

Peter is a drama in education specialist and freelance training provider with twenty years experience. Previously, Peter was the Head of Expressive Arts in a large secondary comprehensive school, and was also the drama consultant for Stockport Local Education Authority.


Peter has worked on a range of projects including the Dramatic Enquiry project in Stoke and the Chrysalis project in Wakefield. He is currently working in partnership with primary schools on developing creativity and using drama to enrich the primary curriculum as well as being an associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Peter currently directs the Stockport and Oldham & Rochdale Children’s Shakespeare Festivals.


Sue Harding


Creative Associate (Children's Shakespeare Festivals, Training & Speech Bubbles)

Sue has been working as a drama practitioner, actor, director and writer for twenty four years and is also a qualified teacher. After graduating in English Literature from Jesus College Cambridge in 1987, she worked with English Touring Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Shared Experience and Cheek by Jowl before enjoying eight years as Youth Theatre Director at the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. She was a creative agent and practitioner with Creative Partnerships and Partners in Creative Learning. She likes to combine drama, philosophy, storytelling and creative writing in her work, and is currently working with B Arts as a writer on their forthcoming collaborative theatre experience, Take This Waltz.


Sue currently directs the Royal Exchange Theatre, New Vic Theatre and Derby Children's Shakespeare Festivals and delivers Speech Bubbles.


Joe England


Creative Associate (Children's Shakespeare Festivals, Training & Drama Days)

Joe trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and his credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company, Derby Playhouse, the BBC and Paramount Comedy amongst others. As a freelance theatre practitioner and director his work includes the RSC, National Theatre, Z-Arts, Polka Theatre, Masterclass, ATG, Mousetrap Foundation and the National Youth Theatre.


He is a founder member of Touchstone Shakespeare Theatre Company and has works extensively with children with special educational needs and learning difficulties working to unlock creativity, build confidence, support exam success and improve communication skills.


Joe currently works across the Children's Shakespeare Festivals and offers bespoke drama days and project work.

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Emily Capstick


Creative Associate (Speech Bubbles)

Emily is a freelance director, scriptwriter, storyteller, maker, puppeteer & actor. A published children’s author, she has had over 60 scripts and stories commissioned & has been invited to deliver training on storytelling & drama in the heritage sector across the UK and internationally in Sweden, Denmark and the USA.


Participation and engagement are at the heart of her practice whether working alongside children with special educational needs and disabilities, young parents, youth theatres, older adults or cultural professionals, for example.


Joint Creative Director of Peoplescape Theatre, Emily has also worked with many Manchester cultural organisations including: Manchester Camerata, Royal Exchange Theatre, HOME, The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, People’s History Museum, Portland Basin Museum, National Football Museum and Manchester Children’s Book Festival.


Emily currently delivers Speech Bubbles.

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Helen Marshall


Creative Associate (Speech Bubbles)

Helen is a freelance drama facilitator, performer and author. After training at Cumbria Institute of the Arts she worked for Theatre Tots Ltd in London for 4 years, before being inspired to bring Theatre Tots back up north to her home area of Manchester!


Helen has worked with a range of creative education companies including Bigfoot, Freshwater Theatre and delivers bespoke workshops at Leeds Playhouse as well as teaching weekly youth theatre sessions there. She founded Allotment Theatre Company, which seeks to improve the lives of older people. She is also an author and has published her first book "The Mole and the Flower". 


Helen currently delivers Speech Bubbles. 


Sam McLoughlin


Composer and Musician (Children's Shakespeare Festivals)

Sam is a musician and sound artist. He has made soundtracks for films and animations and regularly releases music under various guises both collaboratively and as a solo artist. He has worked for number of years as a youth worker and educational support assistant in colleges, as well as delivering art therapy, school workshops and a variety of community arts projects. 


Sam is the musician for the Children's Shakespeare Festivals Using a range of traditional and homemade instruments, he provides both recorded and live improvisatory music to create atmosphere and dramatic tension, helping to bring each performance to life.


Tom Doona


Production Photographer & Videographer

Tom is a film-maker, photographer, writer and education professional. He works with several organisations to make films that document varied projects, as well as writing, producing and directing his own work as a freelancer and through City Projections Media (in his role as founder and creative director).


For North West Drama Tom directed the '10 Years of Children's Shakespeare Festival' documentary in 2019 and produced, edited and project managed the filming of 12 individual festivals for "Ill Met By Moonlight" #CSFDream in 2021. We're delighted to bring Tom on board as our production photographer and film maker.


Jenny Thomas

Box Office Manager & Administrator

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Jenny is a Freelance Arts Administrator. After a career in high level complaints handling (both in the travel industry and for the medical profession), she decided to put her skills to good use in an area of particular interest – the arts. Clients have included The Lingua Franca World Music Community (where she helped to run the Cultural College World Music Festival), Levenshulme Inspire, Conor McKee Productions and Oldham Coliseum Theatre's Learning and Engagement Department.


Jenny supports our work with a host of administrative tasks as well as box office and ticketing management..


Our Patrons

Edward Bond

Edward is a playwright, theatre director, poet, theorist & screenwriter. He is the author of more than fifty plays, among them Restoration (1981), Bingo (1971) and Saved (1965), the first production of which was instrumental in the abolition of theatre censorship in the UK.

HIs writing for the screen includes Walkabout, Blow Up and Nicholas and Alexandra.

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Wyllie Longmore

Wyllie is an actor, director, teacher and dramaturg. Born in Jamaica, he has resided in England since 1961. He trained as an actor and teacher at Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama, and has appeared in several productions including Our Town (Royal exchange Theatre).

He has tutored in drama schools and the Drama Department of Manchester University.

Carla Henry

Carla is an actor and drama practitioner based in Manchester. She was a member of Contact Youth Theatre, before training at Bretton Hall.


She has played a wide range of roles on stage and screen, including Miss Julie (Royal Exchange Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Filter), Queer As Folk (Channel 4) and Frankie (BBC).

Friends of North West Drama
The organisations who enrich and support our work:

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