I have been a theatre practitioner since 1986 and a Feldenkrais Practitioner since 1999. Prior to my theatre career I completed my undergrad in Psychology, with an interest in Animal Behaviour and Child Development.
I have taught workshops, performed and directed in many different countries and worked with people of all ages, skill levels and social backgrounds. I am not well-known, but some of my work has won awards and some has been mentioned in the national and international press. Rather than chase fame, I have always tried to choose projects that might extend my skills and my thinking, and foreground a connection with people and their creative development.
My theatre work began in Scotland and has taken me all over Europe and to Japan and the US. As an actor, I worked in stage, TV, film, opera and live art. As a director my work has been seen in Scotland, England, Finland, Austria and Japan. I have won awards and prizes in Wales and Scotland. I began my directing career on the Fringe and in Community Theatre. With young and amateur performers I have worked in opera, theatre and film. I have achieved the highest level of satisfaction in community engagement theatre, where I have been privileged to watch people, often new to what performing can offer them, expand and enhance their sense of themselves.
A more detailed CV can be found here.
I completed my training in The Feldenkrais Method under the late Dr Mark Reese (supported by a team including Arlyn Zones, Paul Newton, Allison Rapp, Donna Ray, Dr Frank Wildman, Garret Newell and Jeremy Krauss) in Berlin in 2001. Between 2001 and 2012 I was Tutor in Feldenkrais at London Contemporary Dance School, as well as leading workshops in the UK, Finland, Poland and Austria.
Between 2007 and 2015 I taught Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration for the Polish Institute for Choreotherapy in Poznan. There I developed The BodyThink Process – a merging of Feldenkrais and playful explorations in Neuroplasticity.
In 2007 I opened my practice in Suffolk and North Essex, based in Ipswich. In 2018 I moved my base to Edinburgh and opened a practice there. I continue to practice in both areas.
My Feldenkrais and movement research work is woven through a parallel career devising, developing and delivering arts projects with, for and often by children and young people. This work, with the body and its capacities at its centre, is designed to introduce young people, their teachers and their parents to an extended, enhanced repertoire of thinking and doing.
Between 2007 and 2011 I was a practitioner and tutor with Arts Council England’s visionary Creative Partnerships programme. I was invited to collaborate with students, teachers and schools managements in Essex and Suffolk in the development of arts based curricula. In 2014 I co-founded and since then have been Director of The Young Walter Scott Prize, the UK’s only writing competition for young people exploring the increasingly important genre of Historical Fiction. I am also Creative Director of The Imagining History Programme, a UK nationwide series of workshops bringing young writers into active contact with sites of historical interest in the company of professional writers and historians. Read more about his side of my work here.
I am a member of The UK Feldenkrais Guild, the professional and development organisation of The Feldenkrais Method® in the UK – www.feldenkrais.co.uk
WHAT DRIVES MY WORKING WITH BODIES….
I first experienced The Feldenkrais Method® at a time in my life when I was being told that I had effectively made the wrong choice of dream. The best advice available suggested that I should choose another path to the one that had been firing my imagination for years.
Whilst at Drama School, I had been told by an Osteopath that I should avoid any kind of movement or dance because I had a lumbar scoliosis which would always restrict my movement. Within a month of starting my training at the Ecole Lecoq in Paris it was clear that there would be no restriction to my doing the thing that I had set my heart on doing. Within a month of the first Awareness Through Movement® lesson of that training, it was clear that I was as capable as my classmates, and more supple and mobile than some.
I quickly realised that the problems I would be facing in my professional life would definitely NOT be determined by the inability of my body to do what I asked of it. I was introduced to a highly personal concept of freedom of movement, and as a result freedom of thought, to explore as much of my world as I might choose.
The use of Moshe Feldenkrais’s inspirations in my training as an actor freed both my body and my mind to concentrate on my development as a theatre artist, rather than becoming beached on problems that I might encounter along the way.
Moshe Feldenkrais lived to reintroduce adults to the fascination, simplicity and ease they once might have felt as children discovering the potential of their world. He believed that no-one should be limited by ineffective habits of moving, and that a healthy being is someone who has the capacity to recover quickly and fully from illness or trauma. He wanted for people to realise their ‘unavowed dreams’ and to be able to do the things that would contribute to their growth as human beings.
It is my pleasure to follow his lead, to pass on the excitement that I myself derive from this work, and to develop my own insights gathered in the course of a widely varied working life as a creative artist, movement analyst, educationalist and bodyworker.
MA Hons (St Andrews) Psychology (Subsid. French, Economics, History)
MFA with Distinction (Birkbeck) Artistic Direction in Theatre
Adv Dip Drama with Merit (RWCMD, Cardiff) Performance
Cert d’Etudes (Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris) Mime and Gestural Theatre
Cert IFF (Berlin) The Feldenkrais Method
FG(UK) member of the UK Feldenkrais Guild
FRSA fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures, London