Meet the team
Northwest Drama's hand picked 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.
Matt Wardle Creative Producer Back to top
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. This allowed him to develop his particular expertise in ‘drama for learning’ and he now trains teachers as well as working directly with children of all ages. He also develops drama-based learning sessions for museums and galleries. He is a Creative Associate with Peoplescape Theatre, for whom he delivers Speech Bubbles (as well as managing our own cohort of schools). He is a core member of acclaimed street theatre company Plunge Boom and has also worked with National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and M6 Youth Theatre, Rochdale.
For North West Drama Matt operates as Creative Producer, managing the range of our work, as well as directing The Lowry Children's Shakespeare Festival.
Peter Kennedy Creative Associate Back to top
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.
For North West Drama Peter is the Director of the Stockport Children’s Shakespeare Festival at The Lowry.
Sue Harding Creative Associate Back to top
Sue has been working as a drama practitioner, actor, director and writer for twenty-four years and is also a qualified teacher. After graduating from Jesus College Cambridge in 1987 with a B.A. Hons in English Literature, she worked as an drama and literature education associate for such companies as 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. Since 2005 she has been a freelance creative agent and practitioner with Creative Partnerships and Partners in Creative Learning, and is currently working with B Arts as writer on their forthcoming collaborative theatre experience, Take This Waltz. She likes to combine drama, philosophy, storytelling and creative writing in her work.
For North West Drama Sue is the Director of the Royal Exchange and New Vic Children's Shakespeare Festivals, as well as delivering Speech Bubbles.
Emma Bramley Creative Associate Back to top
Emma has worked for sixteen years specialising in using drama as a tool for learning in schools, communities and organisations. She is a qualified Teacher, Youth and Community Worker and has an MA in Contemporary Theatre. After graduating with a degree in Drama in the Community, Emma worked primarily with the Youth Service developing arts provision as well as working for an Education Action Zone enriching opportunities for creative practice in schools. She also worked for Creative Partnerships as a Creative Agent developing bespoke projects within schools and managing other artists. She now runs her own theatre company, lectures at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and is involved in training teachers. She is an approved trainer in Mantle of the Expert and is passionate about the role of creativity in learning.
Joe England Creative Associate Back to top
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 and 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, which was established in 2001 and has worked extensively with children with special educational needs and learning difficulties working to unlock creativity, build confidence, support exam success and improve communication skills.
For North West Drama Joe offers highly regarded Drama Days and bespoke project work across primary, secondary and HE sectors, as well as operating as Associate Director on a number of our Children's Shakespeare Festivals and Time Travel Festival.
Emma Whitley Creative Associate Back to top
Emma's two major passions are working with young people and the arts. She has over 15 years experience as a drama teacher, theatre practitioner and project manager working in the arts and education sectors. Emma has worked in schools and theatres all over the North West including Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales and Cheshire.
She led the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse’s learning and education programme for 8 years, where she developed their popular Drama Teacher Forum and highly successful partnership scheme. She is also artistic director of Liverpool based community theatre company Tell Tale Theatre.
Sarah Lee Creative Associate Back to top
Sarah trained as an actor and singer at Arts Educational Schools (London) and worked professionally before training as a secondary drama teacher. Having taught drama for a number of years in secondary schools, she took further study at the University of Warwick with Jonothan Neelands, gaining an MA in Drama & Theatre Education. This introduced Sarah to drama and literacy learning in the primary school, and she also worked extensively with young people with special educational needs.
Sarah now works as a drama in education practitioner as well as working as a professional actor. She works freelance on a range of projects including development and delivery of storytelling workshops for young children and their families both for the RSC and for The National Theatre.
Helen Marshall Creative Associate Back to top
Helen is a freelance drama facilitator and performer. 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 the West Yorkshire Playhouse as well as teaching weekly youth theatre sessions there. She also founded Allotment Theatre Company, which promotes intergenerational friendships in her community and seeks to improve the lives of older people. At the moment she runs ‘Musical Memories’ a singing and movement session in local care homes and is working to develop this in the future.
For North West Drama Helen delivers Speech Bubbles.
Sam McLoughlin Musician/ Composer Back to top
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.
For North West Drama, Sam is the musician for the Children's Shakespeare Festival performances. Using a range of traditional and homemade instruments, he uses an improvisatory style to provide atmosphere and dramatic tension, helping to bring each piece to life.
Jenny Thomas Administrator Back to top
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 Collage World Music Festival), Levenshulme Inspire, and Conor McKee Productions, where she has worked on a diverse range of theatre, from touring productions to writer development schemes. Jenny is also currently working for the Oldham Coliseum Theatre in their Learning and Engagement Department.
As Administrator for North West Drama, Jenny supports our work with a host of administrative tasks; communications, data-base management, box office, secretarial tasks and anything else that might prove necessary!